The Book Trailer as Self-Parody: Stars Gary Shteyngart with James Franco Cameo

What can we say about Gary Shteyngart? The novelist appeared last year in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 Fiction Issue (which listed authors “who capture the inventiveness and the vitality of contemporary American fiction.”) He teaches writing at Columbia University and counts James Franco as one of his students. And he’s willing to hustle a little to sell a book. When his novel Super Sad True Love Story came out last summer (find NYTimes review here), the quirky Leningrad-born author (key to understanding what comes next) released a satirical, self-deprecating trailer to promote his book. Jeffrey Eugenides, Jay McInerney, Edmund White, Mary Gaitskill and Franco himself all get in on the joke … which gets better as it goes along.

Shteyngart’s book just came out in paperback last week. To mark the occasion, Fresh Air re-aired an interview with him (sans accent) last week. His book is also available as an audio download via, and here’s how you can snag a free copy


Reviewing Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” with Wit

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