01/09/2014 11:10 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

A Brief Interview With Gary Shteyngart

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Brief Interviews is a new series in which writers discuss language, literature, and a handful of Proustian personality questions.

Gary Shteyngart is the bestselling author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story. His newest book, a memoir titled Little Failure, came out earlier this week.

What is your most prized possession?

My seven-year-old long-haired dachshund. Although in a sense, he possess me. Sting had a song about this, did he not?

Who (or what) do you envy?

Adult men with tons of hair on their heads who don't even think twice about it. "Oh, think I'll brush the hair out of my eyes. That pesky long thick auburn hair of mine. Ugh, it gets so thick in the summer."

Where do you like to read?

In bed, where I also write, think, dream and hug myself during cold, sleepless nights.

What did you want to be when you grew up (besides an author)?

Cosmonaut, cosmonaut's assistant, airplane pilot, copilot, stewardess, bus driver, car driver, pedestrian. It was a long downhill slide for me.

What bothers you most about the English language today?

I don't know WTF you're talking about. ROFLARP.