Gary Shteyngart wrote his first book when he was 5, trading each page for a piece of cheese from his grandmother. In his recent memoir, Little Failure, the acclaimed novelist writes about his experiences growing up in the Soviet Union and moving to the United States before his native country’s government collapsed.
Sasha Senderovich, a professor of Jewish studies at CU, thinks that Shteyngart delivers a message that speaks to all cultures.
“He writes about characters who become American, who come out of a different culture. All of his books deal with what being American is,” Senderovich says.