The Russian Debutante's Handbook
The Russian Debutante's Handbook is infused with energy and wit and a brilliant use of language. Hilarious, extravagant, yet uncannily true to life, it follows the adventures of Vladimir, a young Russian-American immigrant, whose capitalist dreams and desires for a girlfriend lead him off the straight and narrow and into uncharted territory.
Taking us 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 both a madcap adventure and a serious look at what it means to be an outsider in America, and what it means to be an American.
Baker & Taylor
In a novel about being an outsider in America and what it means to be an American, Vladimir, a young Russian-American immigrant, pursues his dreams of success, wealth, and a girlfriend, as his quest takes him deep into uncharted territory.
Blackwell North Amer
Vladimir Girshkin - twenty-five-year-old Russian immigrant, "Little Failure" according to his high-achieving mother, unhappy lover to fat dungeon mistress Challah (his "little Challah bread"), and lowly clerk at the bureaucratic Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society - is about to have his first break. When the unlikely figure of a wealthy but psychotic old Russian war hero appears and introduces Vladimir to his best friend, who just happens to be a small electric fan, Vladimir has little inkling that he is about to embark on an adventure of unrelenting lunacy - one that overturns his assumptions about what it means to be an immigrant in America.
The Russian Debutante's Handbook takes us from New York City's Lower East Side to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava - the Eastern European Paris of the '90s - whose grand and glorious beauty is marred only by the shadow of the looming statue of Stalin's foot. There, with the encouragement of the Groundhog, a murderous (but fun-loving) Russian mafioso, Vladimir infiltrates the American ex-pat community with the hope of defrauding his young middle-class compatriots by launching a pyramid scheme that's as stupid as it is brilliant. Things go swimmingly at first, but nothing is quite as it seems in Prava, and Vladimir learns that in order to reinvent himself, he must first discover who he really is.
In a novel about being an outsider in America and what it means to be an American, Vladimir, a young Russian-American immigrant, pursues his dreams of success, wealth, and a girlfriend, as his quest takes him deep into uncharted territory. A first novel. 25,000 first printing.
From Library Staff
A young Russian immigrant in late 20th century New York.
From the critics
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