Meeting the writer you look up to most is better than Mother Theresa riding a unicorn


It’s Gary Shteyngart! 10 feet away from me! At Politics and Prose. Doing a really great job reading from Super Sad True Love Story.

No, wait,

Ok that’s more like it.

And. He signed my book.

To Vicki: Please mock. With best wishes (s’ uspehom), Igor (his full name.)

There are no pictures of him signing my book because I was crazy nervous and stood in line for what seemed like eternity trying to think of the right thing to say to him to seem not lame.

“As someone who also survived a Russian Jewish childhood, thank you for inspiring me to also write and mock  it.”

So, he gave me permission to mock.

Obviously, because I am antisocial, but more because I want to remain a mysterious darkhorse, I was too shy to ask him a question in front of the whole audience, but I really wanted to ask him what he thought women’s role in writing satire was, and why he thought most satire writers were male. I also wanted to ask him a million other things, like how he managed to write satire about America that didn’t hate on America, and how he managed to write about different cultures in a way that was accessible to people who have never been further than Pittsburgh.

Obviously, all of this will have to wait until I finish my own novel and go on book tour.

One thing that I really agreed with that he said, was that it’s sad that the book as we know it may be dead in 100 years. He said that 25% of his current book sales were Kindle/Nook/etc, where almost 0% of his last book, published around 2007 were. He said that we deal with blocks of text all day if we are white-collar workers, either in the form of emails or documents or what have you, and that the book, when digitized, becomes yet another block of text, taking away from the magic it has in free form.  I tend to agree with this, and I never read books on my cell phone and almost never on my computer (Hunger Games was an exception because I wanted to finish it quickly.)

I love books, and like many, think that being able to see what a person has on their shelves is a way of getting to know them better.  I hope the dystopic world of data streams in Super Sad True Love Story doesn’t come to pass and that we still read books as a form of entertainment.

Anyway, TL;DR, I had the most awesome time yesterday.