A&U to publish bestseller Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

22nd November 2021

Allen & Unwin UK have acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, including audio, to Gary Shteyngart’s Our Country Friends from Denise Cronin at Penguin Random House US and will publish in hardback and trade paperback in January 2022. Shteyngart was previously published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton.

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2006 by The New York Times Book Review. His novel Super Sad True Love Story won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and became one of the most iconic novels of the decade. His memoir Little Failure was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a New York Times bestseller. His most recent novel is Our Country Friends. His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries.

What does it mean to be a friend? In the rolling hills of upstate New York, a group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing everyone to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most to them. The unlikely cast of characters includes a Russian-born novelist and his psychiatrist wife; their precocious child obsessed with K-pop; a struggling Indian American writer; a wildly successful Korean American app developer; a global dandy with three passports; a Southern flamethrower of an essayist; and a movie star, the Actor, whose arrival upsets the equilibrium of this chosen family.

Both elegiac and very, very funny, Our Country Friends is the most ambitious book yet by the author of the international bestseller Super Sad True Love Story and this week made The New York Times’ bestseller chart.

Ed Faulkner, Publisher at Allen & Unwin UK, says:

‘I was a junior editor at Bloomsbury in 2003 when they published Gary’s award-winning debut novel The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and I have been a huge fan of his writing ever since, so I am enormously excited to be publishing Gary and his brilliant new novel Our Country Friends at Allen & Unwin.  Our Country Friends is very funny, acutely observed and has a lot of heart.  It is a true privilege to be publishing it.’

Gary Shteyngart says:

‘I am very excited to join the great list at Allen & Unwin, and can’t wait to return to the UK one day to meet my terrific readers.’

Our Country Friends will publish in hardback and e-book, and in trade paperback for export, in January 2022 on the Allen & Unwin UK imprint of Atlantic Books.