Oberlin College Assigns Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story
A professor at Oberlin College assigned Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story to her first-year class on new technologies. Anne Trubek has been teaching the class for over ten years and decided to change things up by assigning Shteyngart’s book to fifteen 18-year-olds.
“I expected about half to skip it, another half to say it was too difficult. Instead I got one unanimous round of applause. They all loved it. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘It’s like us on steroids,’ said one. Fourteen other heads bobbed in agreement.”
Prof. Trubek goes on to mention in her article on buzzfeed.com how refreshing it was to find a contemporary novel like Shteyngart’s that deals with or even seems to understand technology.
“Super Sad true Love Story is one of the few in recent memory to tackle this theme head on — and it’s the one I think we’ll be reading in 10 years from now, after the award winners are forgotten.”
Set in an alternative future, America is crushed by a financial crisis and our patient Chinese creditors may just be ready to foreclose on the whole mess. Then Lenny Abramov, son of an Russian immigrant janitor and ardent fan of “printed, bound media artifacts” (aka books), meets Eunice Park, an impossibly cute Korean American woman with a major in Images and a minor in Assertiveness. Could falling in love redeem a planet falling apart?
About the Author
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante’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 San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. He has been selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, and Travel + Leisure and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in New York City.