© 2024 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
HPR's spring membership campaign is underway! Support the reporting, storytelling and music you depend on. Donate now

Gary Shteyngart Chronicles Life in 'Absurdistan'

Gary Shteyngart came to the United States in 1979 as a 7-year-old Soviet-Jewish kid. He says he left behind a life of childhood bliss for the lot of a depressive, self-described nerd in New York City.

Shteyngart has grown up to be a humorist and novelist who writes about people and places that are real and imaginary. He also writes about that curious category in between: people and places in the former Soviet Union.

His new novel is about a country called Absurdistan. The country might remind readers of certain countries in the Caucasus, like Azerbaijan or Georgia, says Shteyngart. His Absurdistan is oil-rich and run by an elite kleptocracy and a group of companies, including Halliburton.

"It's almost nonfiction," says Shteyngart.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

More from Hawai‘i Public Radio