Gary Shteyngart on the iPhone, James Franco and his novel

The acclaimed author talks about his new novel, the perils of the iPhone, and what it’s really like to teach James Franco.

Recently named by The New Yorker as one of the top 20 writers under 40, Gary Shteyngart has a new novel, Super Sad True Love Story, just out. Shteyngart sat down with The Daily Beast to discuss the book, the art of the blurb, and, yes, teaching James Franco.

I Write to Entertain

Shteyngart’s first two novels managed to be both literary and funny; Super Sad True Love Story accomplishes this as well. Shteyngart talks about how his new book presents the vernacular of a 24-year-old, and creating his own abbreviations to predict the way the language of young people will evolve.

The Story Behind the Blurbs

Shteyngart says that he has blurbed over 100 books in the past eight years. He shares his secret formula for writing a good blurb–and his selfish motive for blurbing so frequently.

Educating James Franco

As a writing teacher at Columbia University, Shteyngart mentored James Franco, who also appeared in the trailer for his new novel. Shteyngart reminisces on classes with the erudite heartthrob.

On Being iObsessed

Shteyngart recently wrote for The New York Times about the difficulties of disconnecting from his iPhone. He talks here about the problem as well … sort of.

How to Get Jay McInerney in a Promotional Video

What’s the best way to save print? It may be to make a trailer for your new novel so it can be watched on the iPad. To help promote his new book, Shteyngart got not only James Franco to appear in his trailer, but also Mary Gaitskill and Jay McInerney.

On Mastering Writing With a Master’s Degree

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MFA programs have no shortage of critics. Shteyngart supports the idea of aspiring writers learning their craft in a university setting. And he should know–he attended an MFA program and now teaches in one.

Plus: Check out Book Beast, for more news on hot titles and authors and excerpts from the latest books.

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