The Russian Debutante's Handbook Background

The Russian Debutante's Handbook Background

The Russian Debutante's Handbook is a novel written by Gary Shteyngart and was published by Riverhead publishing company in 2002. Shteyngart himself is a Russian-American and integrated aspects from his initial life in Leningrad into this novel.

The novel follows a Russian immigrant, Vladimir Girshkin, as he attempts to fit into Americans society by being loved by American women, and therefore assimilating to their culture and lifestyle. However, he is quickly met with debt and aims to exploit people in order to get him out of financial difficulties and resume his life living the American dream.

The Guardian reviewed the book with positive elements: " Shteyngart is a supremely talented, funny and original", but stated that the integration of multiple storylines throughout the novel, "distill(s) the essence" of the book. Esquire magazine has also noted the book for being “'Rowdy, ribald, funny... Let's call this superb debut the real thing - an acute, accurate, intelligent look at America in the nineties'”

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