Thanks to a recent gift from Diana and Simon Raab, students in a variety of Writing Program courses will have the opportunity to “talk writing” with one of the best. Gary Shteyngart will visit UC Santa Barbara as the inaugural Diana and Simon Raab Visiting Writer in Residence.
Shteyngart will hold a public reading in Campbell Hall on Thursday, April 10 at 8pm. On Friday, April 11 he will participate in a discussion about the art and craft of writing with undergraduates, many of whom will be enrolled in Writing Program courses.
Dr. Ljiljana Coklin, a Writing Program faculty member, says that Shteyngart’s new memoir, Little Failure, “invites students to explore the challenges of memoir writing, in particular as they apply to the topics as varied as immigration, coming of age, family, creativity, and writing as a profession.”
Little Failure (2014) has garnered strong reviews. His novels, Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, have been named best books of the year by newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times. Shteyngart is also a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine.
The Diana and Simon Raab Writer in Residence Program was created to bring distinguished practitioners of the craft of writing to the UC Santa Barbara community. Diana Raab is an award-winning poet, memoirist, blogger and journalist. Author of nine books and over 300 articles, Raab’s work work is regularly featured in the Huffington Post. The visit is a collaboration among the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the UCSB Writing Program, and UCSB Arts and Lectures.