Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story and Absurdistan. His most recent memoir, Little Failure, recounts his experience coming to America in the late 1970s from the Soviet Union, and his theory that he was destined to fail at everything.
1. What are three words you associate with your first relationship?
Woman smell good.
2. What’s the worst thing you ever did for money?
I tried to sell myself on 47th Street. “Tried” is the operative word.
3. What is your favourite song?
“99 Luftbaloons” by Nena. Do you really have to ask?
4. What’d you have for breakfast this morning?
Three eggs over easy and a gigantic bacon strip.
5. How do you feel about Joni Mitchell?
She is my favourite Saskatchewanian.
6. How did you learn what sex was?
From the Torah. Where else?
7. Where do you imagine all our lost T-shirts go?
To Norway, where they become whiter.
8. Who do you consider the funniest person in the world—that we would know?
Richler, baby. Richler.
9. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?
Mudak. In Russian, a kind of testicle-man.
10. What’s something you do every night before bed?
.5 mg Ativan, 20mg Lipitor, mournful prayer to the universe.
The Hazlitt Offensive appears every Tuesday.