Super Sad True Love Story | Granta

  • Published: 03/03/2011
  • ISBN: 9781847082497
  • 129x20mm
  • 336 pages

Super Sad True Love Story

Gary Shteyngart

In a very near future, a functionally illiterate America is about to collapse. But don’t tell that to poor Lenny Abramov, proud author of what may well be the world’s last diary. Despite his job at an outfit called ‘Post-Human Services’, which attempts to provide immortality for its super-rich clientele, death is clearly stalking this cholesterol-rich morsel of a man. And why shouldn’t it? Lenny’s from a different century. He TOTALLY loves books (or ‘printed, bound media artifacts’ as they’re now known), even though most of his peers find them smelly and annoying. But even more than books, Lenny loves Eunice Park, an impossibly cute and impossibly cruel twenty-four-year-old Korean-American woman who just graduated from Elderbird College with a major in ‘Images’ and a minor in ‘Assertiveness’. When riots break out in New York’s Central Park, the city’s streets are lined with National Guard tanks and patient Chinese creditors look ready to foreclose on the whole mess, Lenny vows to convince his fickle new love that in a time without standards or stability, there is still value in being a real human being.

Super Sad True Love Story is an intoxicating brew of keen-edged satire, social prophecy, linguistic exuberance and emotional wallop. The American novel is safe in Gary Shteyngart's gifted hands

David Mitchell

Original, witty and brilliantly imaginative, this startling potpourri of vibrant language and savage satire offers an alarming yet credible version of the near future which is worthy of Philip K Dick.

Ross Gilfillan, Daily Mail

Shteyngart makes his [dystopian novel] feel fresh through the sheer power of his satirical imagination. His forecasts of future slang feel spot-on ... Shteyngart renders this grim world in prose that can be so fine that it buffers the bad news ... Whether the book's love story proves truly sad will be for the reader to discover. There can be no doubting though that Shteyngart's vision of our future feels sadly true.

Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times

The Author

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and moved to the United States with his family seven years later. His first novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. It was also named a New York Times Notable Book, a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly, and a Best Debut of the Year by the Guardian. His second novel, Absurdistan, has sold over 40,000 copies in the UK. The New York Times Book Review named it one of ‘The Top 10 Books of 2006’. His most recent novel Super Sad True Love Story was published by Granta in 2010. It won the Salon Book Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Bestseller, and was the first book by an American author to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction. Gary’s fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Esquire and the New York Times Magazine. In 2010 he was selected as one of the New Yorker’s ‘20 under 40′. He lives in Manhattan with his Dachshund.

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From the Same Author


Gary Shteyngart

Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia and proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA. Misha is an American impounded in a Russian’s body and the only place he feels at home is New York; he just wants to live in the South Bronx with his Latina girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman in Russia, all hopes of a US visa are lost. Salvation lies in the tiny oil-rich nation of Absurdistan (a fictional former Soviet republic), where a crooked consular officer will sell Misha a Belgian passport. But after a civil war breaks out between two competing ethnic groups and a local warlord installs hapless Misha as minister of multicultural affairs, our hero soon finds himself covered in oil, fighting for his life, falling in love, and trying to figure out if a normal life is still possible in the twenty-first century.

Gary Shteyngart on

In Conversation | The Online Edition

Gary Shteyngart | Interview

Gary Shteyngart & Emily Greenhouse

‘I can’t even afford to have thoughts on London, much less live or visit there.’

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Gary Shteyngart | Portrait of My Father

Gary Shteyngart

‘I am fourteen years old and this is the only time I have ever successfully driven a car in my entire life.’

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

Over There

Various Contributors

Americans, speaking of foreign lands, often say, 'It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.'