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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