The Arty Semite

Gary Shteyngart Can’t Read

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

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Haha. Or if you’re Gary Shteyngart feigning a Russian accent in his new book trailer, it might sound more like chah-chah. Book trailers are often too long and boring: earnest author fidgeting on a Brooklyn stoop, reciting the plot of her novel. You’re watching it thinking, “Stop telling me what happens. That’s what your book is for.”

Luckily, the newly released trailer for Shteyngart’s highly anticipated third novel, “Super Sad True Love Story” (Random House), does not suffer from these problems. In fact, it has practically nothing to do with the book, a dystopic tale of a sweaty, nebbishy book-lover fighting the mire of screen addiction, cultural illiteracy and tweens in see-through jeans. And it’s full of celebrities, literary and otherwise. Like James Franco, a Jew matrilineally according to Wikipedia. The premise is that the prolific satirical fiction writer, Shteyngart, is actually a Borat-like figure who can’t read. Chah-chah. It’s very funny. You should watch it. And you should read Mark Oppenheimer’s interview with Shteyngart from our archives. And check back soon for the Yid Lit Podcast that we’re taping with him. I’ll see if I can get him to read something.


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