Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the US 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 and a best book of the year by Time, the Washington Post Book World, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and many others. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Esquire, GQ, the New Yorker, and Travel + Leisure. He currently lives in New York City.