America’s most talented writers are discovering the electronic network. In “Super Sad True Love Story,” Gary Shteyngart’s best selling trip into the digital future, Shteyngart invents a darkly disturbing world in which we all wear electronic pendants around our necks called “apparats” which reveal everything about us to everybody. In the future, he tells us, privacy will be dead and our blazingly public lives will be broadcast by transparent ranking networks (think Klout and Peer Index on steroids).
But, as Shteyngart told me when I caught up with him yesterday, the real challenge for today’s writer is that the future has already arrived. “You can’t make this stuff up”, he told me, while explaining that the present no long exists and that his most fantastic literary inventions such as entirely transparent onion-skin jeans (which reveal all our most intimate jewels) are more than simply figments of his sparkling imagination.
This is a two part interview. Tomorrow Shteyngart explains why we shouldn’t steal books.
A super sad true love story
Why the present no longer exists
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutanteâ€™s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, as well as a best book of the year by Time, The Washington Post Book World, the...