Gary Shteyngart at powerHouse Arena
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1. A packed house at powerHouse Arena was excited for the reading to begin. 2. Author Gary Shteyngart signed many a book Tuesday night.
Gary Shteyngart’s book tour for Super Sad True Love Story came to a triumphant finish Tuesday night at powerHouse Arena in DUMBO, Brooklyn. “This is the end of 340 days of touring that have taken me to such diverse countries as Canada…and America,” Shteyngart announced to the packed bookstore.
Throughout the evening, Shteyngart shared his own views on modern culture and technology. When asked if he was concerned that some of the futuristic details of the novel would become outdated, he said that has already begun. “I created Onionskin jeans as a joke. Two months after the book came out, models in Paris were wearing completely transparent jeans on the runway.”
1. Gary Shteyngart brings people like Dan and Brooke together. 2. Alexandra and Jessica are photogenic fans.
Shteyngart went on to say that although he appreciates some advanced technology and loves his “iTelephone,” he finds he is unable to read with the same level of concentration and then made an analogy comparing books to girlfriends and technology to rum. “Your book is like your girlfriend, your loved one, and you take her to a party. You want to stay put and keep your girlfriend company, but there are all of these distracting rum drinks across the room, so you leave your loved one behind. Technology is a distracting rum drink.”
Since Super Sad True Love Story has been a fixture on display tables at bookstores nationwide for months, several audience members were curious about the novel’s platform and Shteyngart’s methods of publicity. “You go to the top 140 towns in this country, get on your knees, and beg them to buy your book. Any writer’s prime demographic is women aged forty and up. Men don’t read books,” he said to somewhat incredulous laughter. There were plenty of men in attendance at powerHouse. “Fine. Other than Brooklyn and Seattle, men don’t read books.”
1. Ladies love reading! Jane and Melissa proudly display their fresh paperbacks. 2. Bookseller Erin poses with books and a bridge.
In regards to publicity, Shteyngart claims that the best thing about his book is its cover. “It’s so bright. It tested well with the young people. Your dachshund can play Twister on it. My dachshund’s name is Felix.”
Gary Shteyngart is an engaging speaker who truly appreciates his fans. Whereas most Q&A sessions are limited to ten or fifteen minutes, Shteyngart answered questions for nearly an hour. At the end of the night, he advised that for literary fiction to do well, it “has to be fun and entertaining and relevant.” With Super Sad True Love Story, Shteyngart succeeds on all three counts.
1. Nicole shows off the bold book cover. 2. Gabriel’s pup, Aglia, is going to challenge Shteyngart’s dachshund to a game of Twister.
— Lauren Dlugosz writes in Brooklyn, but her heart is in Ohio. She blogs at www.authorstalker.tumblr.com.