Gary Shteyngart is one of the funniest writers around. His new novel takes a hilarious and frightening look at our near future as avid consumers living in the greatest debtor nation on the planet. Gary came out to WYSO eight years ago to talk about his first book. Then he blogged about his visit. Here's what he wrote back then:
"What a difference a day makes. It was sunny and warm over in Yellow Springs, OH, home to Antioch College and to WYSO, a killer little NPR station, with a killer little radio program called Book Nook staffed by a killer host named Vick Mickunas. Kilogram for kilogram he is one of the best radio hosts I've ever been interviewed by. He's up there with Terry Gross, I tell you. He knew my book paragraph by paragraph. What a pleasure. Then I waltzed around the Antioch campus, which reminded me of Oberlin (my progressive alma), except it was much scruffier, overgrown with weeds, and boasting tons of graffiti. The big magenta scrawl announcing I had entered a QUEER LIBERATION ZONE was especially tantalizing. Should I do something differently now? I kept wondering. Pay less taxes? Wear another hat? It made me very nostalgic for Oberlin, especially after the previous day's visit to Cleveland."
"Afterwards, a very smart crowd awaited me at Books and Co. in Dayton, Ohio. All agreed that Vick Mickunas, host of Book Nook, is a local treasure. A woman studying to become a Methodist priest then took me out to the nearest bar for a vodka triple. She frequently travels to St. Petersburg, Russia (my hometown) where she's helping to set up a church school. "Teach me all the curses," she said, "so I know what the kids are saying." I taught her. Amen."