Gary Shteyngart Has Exploded: How to Become a Famous Author!

Gary Shteyngart’s dystopian Super Sad True Love Story has been my best new read of the year so far. So much so that the piece I read at Tuesday’s Highland Lit Salon would only have been an exercise in grand larceny if it was better by a factor of a hundred. SSTLS is just out in paperback and, as Edmund White says in the trailer for the hardback, Shteyngart is “our greatest satirist”.

He also knows how to work the literary world – so much so that in twenty-four hours people in Austin have seen and heard Gary read and allowed him to draw dachshunds in their copies at my behest. Given Shteyngart’s success, I offer this marketing plan to the aspiring writer.

  1. Move to New York.
  2. Work. Write a book.
  3. Overact. Pretend to be weird, harmless and illiterate. (As an aspiring writer you should only be the first of these three.)
  4. Stalk. Befriend famous writers and actors. (The Condé Nast Building is at 4 Times Square.)
  5. Cajole. Get them to star in a video about your book.
  6. Fluff. Get a bitch, sorry, a dachshund.
  7. Pimp. Start a Facebook page.
  8. Say please. Update the Facebook page with pictures of the dachshund. These should be captioned with details of your upcoming readings.
  9. Say thank you. Update the Facebook page with pictures of the offerings brought to the readings by your adoring fans.
  10. Repeat steps 2 to 9 until afflicted by death.

There’s a new video for the paperback but the original is much the best. Here it is.

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