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Hunter Alum’s New Novel Gets Thumbs Up from The Times

Novelist Gary Shteyngart (MFA ’02) has won a rave review from The New York Times for his latest book, Super Sad True Love Story. Writing on July 26, Michiko Kakutani, one of the Times’ regular roster of book critics, hailed the work as “a supersad, superfunny, superaffecting performance.” Kakutani called the novel “a book that not only showcases the ebullient satiric gifts [Shteyngart] demonstrated in his entertaining 2002 debut, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, but that also uncovers his abilities to write deeply and movingly about love and loss and mortality.”

The novel concerns an improbable romance set in the near future in a United States where, in Kakutani’s summary, “Mr. Shteyngart has extrapolated every toxic development already at large in America to farcical extremes.” This remarkable mix, the critic said, produces “a novel that performs the delightful feat of mashing up an apocalyptic satire with a genuine supersad true love story.”

Shteyngart was born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1972 and came to New York with his family at age 7. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School, earned a BA in politics from Oberlin College, and entered Hunter’s MFA program in creative writing. He taught writing at Hunter, and now teaches at Columbia and Princeton. He was inducted into Hunter’s Hall of Fame in 2009.


Published on July 29, 2010

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