Super Sad True Love Story

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Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel
First edition cover
AuthorGary Shteyngart
Cover artistRodrigo Corral
CountryUnited States
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
July 27, 2010

Super Sad True Love Story is the third novel by American writer Gary Shteyngart published in 2010.[1] The novel takes place in a near-future dystopian New York where life is dominated by media and retail.

Plot summary[edit]

The son of a Russian immigrant, protagonist Leonard (Lenny) Abramov, a middle-aged, middle class, otherwise unremarkable man whose mentality is still in the past century, falls madly in love with Eunice Park, a young Korean-American from New Jersey struggling with materialism and the pressures of her traditional Korean family. The chapters alternate between profuse diary entries from the old-fashioned Lenny and Eunice's biting e-mail correspondence on her "GlobalTeens" account.

In the background of what appears to be a love story that oscillates between superficiality and despair, a grim political situation unravels. America is on the brink of economic collapse, threatened by its Chinese creditors. In the twilight nation, the only three industries left are Media, Credit, and Retail. In the meantime, the totalitarian Bipartisan Party government's main mission is to encourage and promote consumerism while eliminating political dissidents,[2] under US President Cortez. Abramov is a member of the Creative Class, who sells long-term life extension to high net worth individuals in Italy.[3] Italy is the only country in Europe that still has any meaningful dealings with the US. The United States invaded Venezuela at some point.[4] In the story, to describe the change in relative positions, six million Chinese Yuan is equal to US$50 million.[4] The current USA is fixed in a cult of youth based on the oversaturated "GlobalTeens" social media site, which has the phrase "Less words = more fun!!!".[3] The US is called an "unstable, barely governable country presenting grave risk to the international system of corporate governance and exchange mechanisms" by a member of the Chinese Central Bank.[3]

Abramov, acting as the POV character, explains the future of the US in the wake of the sudden collapse of the Bipartisan government, in a political event called “The Rupture".[5]

Critical reception[edit]

The novel won the Salon Book Award (Fiction, 2010) and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize (2011). It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (Fiction & Poetry, 2010), New York Times bestseller (Fiction, 2010), and Amazon's Best Books of the Month in August 2010. It was named one of the best books of the year by numerous publications, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, O: The Oprah Magazine, Maureen Corrigan of NPR, and Slate.[6] In 2016, the literary critic Raymond Malewitz published an article on "digital posthumanism" in the novel in the journal Arizona Quarterly.[7] In a more recent article in Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, Martín Urdiales-Shaw has approached this novel as foregrounding various interrelated "modes of waste", operating across sociopolitical, cultural, ethical and biological paradigms.[8]

TV adaptation[edit]

In 2015 Ben Stiller and Media Rights Capital announced plans for a TV series for Showtime based on Super Sad True Love Story but no further developments had occurred as of November 2021.[9][10]


  1. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (2010-07-26). "Love Found Amid Ruins of Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-03-29.
  2. ^ "- YouTube". Retrieved 2024-03-29.
  3. ^ a b c "Review: Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart". Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  4. ^ a b "'Super Sad' And Satiric, Two Stories Of Doomed Love". Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  5. ^ "Super Sad True Love Story". The Barnes & Noble Review. 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2019-08-28.
  6. ^ "Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart: 9780812977868 | Books". Retrieved 2024-03-29.
  7. ^ Malewitz, Raymond (2015). ""Some new dimension devoid of hip and bone": Remediated Bodies and Digital Posthumanism in Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story". Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory. 71 (4): 107–127. doi:10.1353/arq.2015.0023. ISSN 1558-9595.
  8. ^ Urdiales-Shaw, Martín (2023). ""Welcome to America 2.0": Reading Waste in Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story". Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses (No. 86, 2023) (86): 127–144. doi:10.25145/j.recaesin.2023.86.08. ISSN 2530-8335.
  9. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth. "Showtime Developing Novel 'Super Sad True Love Story' with Ben Stiller Directing (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ Super Sad True Love Story, retrieved 2019-08-28

External links[edit]