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Best known for his knife-sharp satire in novels like "A Super Sad True Love Story" and "Absurdistan," Gary Shteyngart's latest work is a memoir of life as the child of Russian immigrants struggling to make it in Queens, N.Y. It's a scathingly funny yet loving portrait of parents whose affection is expressed through regular put-downs (his mother's nickname for him inspired the book's title), but also a powerful love. We speak with the author about how his life has influenced his work.
Excerpted from "Little Failure: A Memoir" by Gary Shteyngart. Copyright 2014 by Gary Shteyngart. Reprinted here by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.