Video: Questions for Gary Shteyngart
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Novelist Gary Shteyngart admits he has no hope for the future and has an unfortunate sense of humor (but he's still very funny).
What are your favorite books/who are your favorite authors?
I like me my Nabokov, especially Pnin.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits? Where and when do you write?
I write in bed, beneath a set of fine blankets and a long-haired dachshund.
What are your favorite and least favorite words—and why?
I like the terms “fiscal year” and “hamburger helper.” I don’t dislike any words at all.
Where do you find inspiration for your books? Was there any specific inspiration for this book?
Absurdistan was written after hanging out in Azerbaijan and Georgia and just talking to random people. Their humor and sorrow told me everything I needed to know.
In this book and in Super Sad True Love Story you create a dystopian setting. What attracts you to writing about such places?
Ashkenazi Soviet pessimist has no hope for future.
Can you describe your particular kind of humor?
It’s an unfortunate kind of humor. Humor from the edge of the grave.