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Alison Stewart and team All Of It are kicking off 2022 with a new book — Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart. The New York Times calls it “A perfect novel for these times and all times, the single textual artifact from the pandemic era I would place in a time capsule as a representation of all that is good and true and beautiful about literature.”
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 each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most. The unlikely cast of characters includes a Russian-born novelist; his Russian-born 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 beloved bestseller Super Sad True Love Story.
This month’s musical guests are The Lumineers, who also went to the Hudson Valley during the pandemic to record their brand new album, Brightside. The duo will perform songs from the album and lead vocalist Wesley Schultz will join us for an interview.
How it Works
- Get the book, reach out to a friend to join, and read along with Alison and Team All Of It
- Follow @allofitwnyc on Instagram
where you’ll find polls, questions, fun facts and pictures of other readers
- Watch the live video stream here on this page as Alison talks with the author
Viewers are encouraged to submit their questions for the guests on Twitter and Instagram.
All Of It teams up with the New York Public Library so that New Yorkers can access the book for free through the NYPL app.
Credit: Photo provided by guest.
Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Little Failure (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and the novels Super Sad True Love Story (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Lake Success, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (winner of the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction). His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries. His latest novel, OUR COUNTRY FRIENDS, was an instant New York Times bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time magazine, Kirkus Review, and others.
Credit: Photo provided by guest
With 21 #1 hits across a range of radio formats, The Lumineers have quickly risen to the ranks of the world’s most beloved bands of any genre. Having started out in small clubs and open mics the band has become a touring juggernaut, selling out arenas throughout the world. The band first entered the international stage in 2012 with their breakthrough song, “Ho Hey,” the first single from their self-titled debut. The album itself proved to be huge sensation, rising to #2 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 on its way to 3x RIAA platinum certification in the U.S. and Canada and a prestigious pair of GRAMMY® Award nominations including “Best New Artist.” CLEOPATRA followed in 2016, debuting at #1 on album charts in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom on route to RIAA platinum in the U.S. and 2x platinum certification in Canada. The Lumineers’ third album, the cinematic and inventive III, proved a critical and popular phenomenon upon its September 2019 release, highlighted by such singles as “Life In The City” and “Gloria,” both of which lit up multi-format radio outlets across the country, with “Gloria” topping the charts at Americana, Adult Alternative, and Alternative, including six consecutive weeks at #1 on the latter chart. The band’s fourth album BRIGHTSIDE is due out January 14, 2022 and its first single, the title track “BRIGHTSIDE,” is a #1 hit on both Billboard’s AAA Radio Chart and Alternative Music Chart.