The Russian Debutante's Handbook
By Gary Shteyngart
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781573222136, 452pp.)
Publication Date: June 10, 2002
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The Russian Debutante's Handbook is infused with energy and wit and a brilliant use of language. Hilarious, extravagant, yet uncannily true to life, it follows the adventures of Vladimir, a young Russian-American immigrant, whose capitalist dreams and desires for a girlfriend lead him off the straight and narrow and into uncharted territory.
Taking us from the dreary confines of New York City's Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava-the Eastern European Paris of the nineties-whose grand and glorious beauty is marred only by the shadow of the looming statue of Stalin's foot, The Russian Debutante's Handbook is both a madcap adventure and a serious look at what it means to be an outsider in America, and what it means to be an American.
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972, and came to the United States seven years later. His novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was chosen as a best book of the year by the Washington Post Book World and Entertainment Weekly. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and many other publications. He lives in New York City.