Gary Shteyngart: What are you working on now?

May 28, 2020

We recently spoke with novelist and Associate Professor of Writing Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Absurdistan, Little Failure, and Lake Success, which the BBC called “biting, edgy, often hilarious.”

 

School of the Arts: What are you working on now?

 

Gary Shteyngart: Against all common sense I'm working on a novel which is set at exactly the time I'm writing this, the tumultuous month of May in the tumultuous year of 2020, and also set in the precise location where I live half of the year, about a hundred miles north of New York. I'm peopling this novel with a cast of characters I wish I had around me, sort of creating my own endlessly fun dinner party out of the shards of civilization. Dystopia is my middle name so I have no choice but to address the moment.

 

 

School of the Arts: What are you thinking about now?

 

Gary Shteyngart: Nature. I have nothing to do but walk around the countryside with a ridiculous sun hat and a walking stick, trying to differentiate tree frogs from cicadas and marveling at owls. Occasionally, a package arrives from Russ & Daughters to focus my attention elsewhere. Our leadership has failed us, but there is always the Sturgeon General.

In October 2018, Gary Shteyngart participated in the Complex Issues series, discussing his book Lake Success with Bruce Robbins.

(Left) Bruce Robbins and (right) Gary Shteyngart