Renowned author Gary Shteyngart will kick off the spring semester’s Trias Reading Series on Thursday, Feb. 21, with “wickedly whimsical prose and searing satire” that has earned him wide praise. His lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom.
Born in Leningrad during the Cold War, Shteyngart has lived in the United States since age 7. His firsthand experience of the clash of American and Russian history and culture inspires and informs much of his work. Motivated by Shteyngart’s visit to Prague, his first novel, “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” (2002), follows a Jewish/Soviet ne’er-do-well seeking fame and fortune in New York City and the fictitious European city of Prava. It won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction.
The New York Times Book Review and Time magazine chose his second novel, “Absurdistan” (2006), as one of the 10 best books of the year. His novel “Super Sad True Love Story” (2010) won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and was selected as one of the best books of the year by more than 40 news journals and magazines around the world. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Esquire, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. In June 2010, Shteyngart was chosen as one of the New Yorker’s “20 under 40” luminary fiction writers. His work has been translated into 26 languages.
Shteyngart earned a degree in politics from Oberlin College and a MFA in creative writing from Hunter College of the City University of New York. He has taught at Hunter College and currently teaches writing at Columbia University. In 2007, he had a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany.
The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing that was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias ’70. Learn more.