New Yorker Calls Hunter's Shteyngart One of the Nation's Best Young Writers
The New Yorker has included Gary Shteyngart (MFA '02) on its "20 Under 40" list of the nation's most promising young writers. The list - which will appear in the issue on newsstands June 7 - was assembled by the magazine's editors in what The New York Times described as "a lengthy, secretive process that has provoked considerable anxiety among young literary types."
Shteyngart's inclusion comes as no surprise to those who have followed his fast-rising career. His first novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, published in 2002, was praised as "a rich moral and political parable" by New York. His second novel, Absurdistan, was included on The New York Times' list of 10 Best Books of 2006. And in 2007 the literary magazine Granta named him as one of the Best Young American Novelists of the Decade.
Shteyngart was born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1972 and came to New York with his family at the age of 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.
His third novel, Super Sad True Love Story, will be published by Random House on July 27. In keeping with Shteyngart's satiric political style, it will be set in Albany in 2040 when the town has become "a small religious protectorate under the command of a Korean Rev. Cho."