Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. He is the author of the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook.


Adventures of a True Believer

Monumental Propaganda

by Vladimir Voinovich, translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield
If Russia weren’t governed by fools and reprobates, if the roads were smooth and wide and free of bandits, if Russia were suddenly a modern European country as far removed from Stalin’s legacy as today’s Germany is from Hitler’s, three groups of citizens would suffer the most: corrupt traffic cops, …


Bellow After Death

Saul Bellow in Capri, 1984

The first time I tackled Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein, back in 2000, this American mind was as open to long-form fiction as any other and I wolfed the novel down in one Saturday between helpings of oxygen and water and little else. Today I find that Bellow’s comment, “It is never an easy task to take the mental measure of your readers,” is more apt than ever. As I try to read the first pages of Ravelstein, my iPhone pings and squawks with increasing distress.