Best-selling author Gary Shteyngart on growing up Soviet, his real name and why he didn't mind getting hit as a kid
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You’ve written three novels–The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story–that draw on your life, so why a memoir?
Well, I’m 41, which is 67 in Russian years, so I feel like time is passing me by. I need to get this out before the heart attack, the stroke and the exploding liver that many Russians have at this age. I wanted to get this little story down with these three people who were my family. It’s also a 20th century story, about moving from one failed superpower to another not-doing-so-great superpower.
Aren’t you worried that you’ve used up all the material for future novels?