Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia and proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA. Misha is an American impounded in a Russian's body and the only place he feels at home is New York; he just wants to live in the South Bronx with his Latina girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman in Russia, all hopes of a U.S. visa are lost. Salvation lies in the tiny, oil-rich nation of Absurdistan (a fictional former Soviet republic), where a crooked consular officer will sell Misha a Belgian passport. But after a civil war breaks out between two competing ethnic groups and a local warlord installs hapless Misha as minister of multicultural affairs, our hero soon finds himself covered in oil, fighting for his life, falling in love, and trying to figure out if a normal life is still possible in the twenty-first century.
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and moved to the United States with his family 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. It was also named a New York Times Notable Book, a best book of the year by the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and one of the best debuts of the year by the Guardian. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Esquire and the New York Times Magazine.
'A satire that strikes out in all directions... astonishingly funny and exquisitelywritten' Tibor Fischer, Sunday Telegraph
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