On Tuesday, January 11th, 2022 FOLCS was joined by New York Times bestselling author Gary Shteyngart to discuss the unique experience of recording our living memory of the pandemic, what it has meant to be a storyteller during this fraught time, and the necessary art of bringing humor into the darkest of circumstances.
Known for his sharp observations and signature wit, Gary Shteyngart has put satire aside to write his most ambitious and emotionally resonant novel yet – think The Big Chill meets Chekov. Written in real time over the course of the pandemic, Our Country Friends is at once humorous, tender, and altogether unforgettable:
It’s March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most.
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. His novel Super Sad True Love Story won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and became one of the most iconic novels of the decade. His memoir, Little Failure, was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a New York Times bestseller. His most recent novel is Lake Success. His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries.