*** Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart


A third of the way into Little Failure, I realized that I had not enjoyed the author’s books (one of them, to be precise) — but I thoroughly enjoyed his memoir, from a circumscribed childhood in what was still the USSR to emigration to New York with parents that never quite adapted completely to their new environment and who did not believe in coddling him. “Little failure” is one of the nicknames they had for him.

The memoir alternates between funny family remembrances and the development of the author’s love and skill for writing. Funny and never harsh — and never boring to me, as Super Sad True Love Story was.

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