Vladimir is a young Russian-American immigrant whose capitalist dreams and desire for a girlfriend lead him off the straight and narrow into uncharted territory. From the dreary confines of New York City's Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava - the Eastern European Paris of the nineties - whose grand ...Read MoreVladimir is a young Russian-American immigrant whose capitalist dreams and desire for a girlfriend lead him off the straight and narrow into uncharted territory. From the dreary confines of New York City's Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava - the Eastern European Paris of the nineties - whose grand and glorious beauty is marred only by the shadow of the looming statue of Stalin's foot, The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a hilarious, extravagant, yet uncannily true to life adventure. It is also a serious look at what it means to be an outsider in America and what it means to be an American.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-29 Orwell once remarked that the narrator of Tropic of Cancer was so far from endeavoring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him. Shteyngart, whose sensibility is allied with Miller's, takes a passive character, Vladimir Girshkin, and makes him briefly proactivewith disastrous resultsin his smart debut novel. Vladimir is the son of immigrants who came to the U.S. via a Carter administration swap (American wheat for Russian Jews); his father, a doctor prone to dreams of suicide and complicated medical schemes, and his mother, an entrepreneur who makes fun of her son's gait, give him the inestimable gift of alienation. In true slacker fashion, Vladimir, at 25, is wasting his expensive education clerking at the Emma Lazarus Immigration Absorption Society. A client, Rybakov, bribes Vladimir to get him American citizenship, confiding that his son, the Groundhog, is a leading businessman (in prostitutes and drugs) in Pravathe Paris of the nineties in the fictional Republika Stolovaya. Vladimir fakes a citizenship ceremony for Rybakov in order to curry favor with the Groundhog. Then, because he has unwisely repelled the sexual advances of crime boss Jordi while trying to make some illicit bucks to keep his girlfriend, Francesca, in squid and sake dinners in Manhattan, Vladimir leaves abruptly for Prava. Once there, and backed by the Groundhog, Vladimir embarks on a scheme to fleece the American students who have flocked to Prava's legendary scene. Although the satire on the expatriate American community is a little too easy, Shteyngart's Vladimir remains an impressive piece of work, an amoral buffoon who energizes this remarkably mature work. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.