Gary Shteyngart has written a trio of satirical novels that star comically troubled male Russian immigrants operating under the distant gaze of dubious parents in both America and the former Soviet Union. It's worth noting that Shteyngart is himself a comically troubled Russian immigrant who lives in America and has a complex relationship with his country of origin -- and his parents. In his new nonfiction book, Little Failure: A Memoir, Shteyngart dispenses with literary stunt doubles and dives openly and comically into his past. The title comes from his mother's nickname for Gary, which offers one explanation for Shteyngart's gift for biting observations. He's a sly, clever writer with a keen eye for the details that make people so interesting: our faults, our pretensions and our blind spots. Shteyngart discusses his memoir, answers questions and signs copies at 7 p.m. as the guest of Left Bank Books at the Improv Shop (510 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Admission is $18 and includes a paperback copy of Little Failure.
Tue., Oct. 14, 7 p.m., 2014

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