Calling All Catamounts: Shteyngart Interviews Lipsyte
This is Teabag speaking to his principal, Mr. Fontana: "Some nights I picture myself naked, covered in napalm, running down the street. But then it's not napalm. It's apple butter. And it's not a street. It's my mother."
It's the jarring nonsequiturs and mother-love that makes Teabag, and other Lipsyte protags, win my heart. I went all over NYC looking for VENUS DRIVE, and where do I find it? In Istanbul, Turkey. Groovy UK edition. I know I'm not alone in my Cult of Lipsyte, and if you're not onboard, please, get with the program.
And Shteyngart, he's no slouch either, a pioneer (and probably the funniest) in the new milennium's Russian-American literary movement. My favorite moment in RUSSIAN DEBUTANTE:
"Vladimir, how can I say this? Please, don't be cross with me. I know you'll be cross with me, you're such a soft young man. But if I don't tell you the truth, will I be fulfilling my motherly duties? No, I will not. The truth then..." She sighed deeply, an alarming sigh, the sigh of exhaling the last doubt, the sigh of preparing for battle. "Vladimir," she said, "you walk like a Jew."
Another mom moment. And they do discuss Jewish fiction in the interview, the "done" American version, and the newer, immigrant version. I'm not a Jew, I'm not qualified to rehash or analyze. Only to recommend.