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When Are Literary Guys Funny?

abstract:OK, you guessed it. I'm back at the farm slacking off (working my fingers to the BONE) and so this week's author podcast does not derive from moi. It is a hilarious riff from Russian born American writer, Gary Shteyngart. Who is Gary Shteyngart you ask? Well if you crossed Woody Allen with Pushkin, I think you'd be close. To prove my point, just watch this "serious video" from Random House introducing Gary's new book, Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel (Random House, July 27th 2010). It's fiction. It's a whopping 352 pages, and the video has real authors going with the schtick [including Edmond White, Mary Gaitskill, Jeffrey Eugenides.} Gary lives on the Lower East side of Manhattan and teaches at Columbia University, Princeton University and Hunter College. Check out his new book, but don't take MY word for it! Wikipedia (the source of all good journalist's information) wrote this: "Absurdistan: A Novel was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review and Time Magazine, as well as a book of the year by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and many other publications. The Russian Debutante's Handbook won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the Book-of-the-Month Club First Fiction Award and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and one of the best debuts of the year by The Guardian (UK). In June 2010, Shteyngart was named as one of The New Yorker magazine's "20 under 40" luminary fiction writers."


July 27, 2010
Random House has this to say about True Love

"The author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart has risen to the top of the fiction world. Now, in his hilarious and heartfelt new novel, he envisions a deliciously dark tale of America’s dysfunctional coming years—and the timeless and tender feelings that just might bring us back from the brink."

Russian Debutante's HandbookVladimir is the son of immigrants who came to the U.S. via a Carter administration swap (American wheat for Russian Jews); his father, a doctor prone to dreams of suicide and complicated medical schemes, and his mother, an entrepreneur who makes fun of her son's gait, give him the inestimable gift of alienation. In true slacker fashion, Vladimir, at 25, is wasting his expensive education clerking at the Emma Lazarus Immigration Absorption Society. A client, Rybakov, bribes Vladimir to get him American citizenship, confiding that his son, the Groundhog, is a leading businessman (in prostitutes and drugs) in Pravathe Paris of the nineties in the fictional Republika Stolovaya... hteyngart's Vladimir remains an impressive piece of work, an amoral buffoon who energizes this remarkably mature work. —Publisher's Weekley



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