Gary Shteyngart: ‘As a Queens boy, Trump was very impressive’

As a Russian immigrant to the US, the author grew up looking up to Gordon Gekko and Donald Trump – now, he hopes his satire about a hedge-fund manager stops people from becoming bankers

In June 2016, Gary Shteyngart got on a bus. It was a cross-country Greyhound of a kind romanticised by those who don’t have to use them, and that he would describe in Lake Success, his fourth novel, as emanating from a depot in central Manhattan that “smelled like someone had eaten a fish sandwich”. The 46-year-old’s notion was to travel for a few months through the country he had entered in 1979 with his parents, from the Soviet Union, and elements of which he was failing to recognise. “At that point,” he says, “Trump was already a candidate and I didn’t think he would win when I got on the bus.”

Like many New ...