Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972, and came to the United States seven years later. He is the author of the novels Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. Absurdistan was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Time magazine, as well as a book of the year by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times and many other publications. The Russian Debutante’s Handbook won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of the best debuts of the year by The Guardian (UK). His fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Esquire, GQ, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. He has been selected as one of the twenty best young American novelists by Granta magazine. His work has or will soon be translated into over twenty languages. Prior to coming to Princeton, he was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.