• Author Gary Shteyngart was actually born in Leningrad and moved to the U.S. as a child. He penned The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Absurdistan before completing his most recent novel, Super Sad True Love Story. Despite the name, it’s a humorous book. Some info: “near-future New York, the dollar has been pegged to the yuan, the American Restoration Authority is on high security alert, and Lenny Abramov, the middle-aged possessor of a decent credit score but an absurdly low—and embarrassingly public—Male Hotness rating, is in love with the young Eunice Park. Like many of the clients of his employer, the Post-Human Services division of the Staatling-Wapachung Corporation, he’d also like to live forever, but all he really wants is to love Eunice. And for a time, despite the traditional challenges of their gaps in age and ethnicity and the more modern hurdle of an oppressively networked culture that makes your most private identity as transparent as the Onionskin jeans that are all the rage, he does.”
Shteyngart makes a trip to North Carolina culminating in a reading today at Malaprop’s. 7 p.m.
Go here to listen to James Franco (among other people) say funny things in an excellent book tailer/spoof.
• Karen White has this to say about her new novel, The Beach Trees: “I’ve always wanted to write a book set in a geographical area I know well—the Gulf Coast—but have been waiting for the right story to come along. It has arrived with The Beach Trees. It’s a story of loss and survival, of love and belonging, and of discovering how letting go isn’t the same as giving up. I hope you will enjoy the story of Julie, Beau, Monica and Trey, and immerse yourself in the beautiful setting of New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi.”
White has two local readings: Malaprop’s on Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m. and Fountainhead Bookstore (408 N. Main St., Hendersonville, 697-1870) on Monday, May 9 at 5 p.m.
Here’s a teaser for Men And Dogs: “It was the spring of 1985. Dr. Buzz Legare went on a fishing trip in the Charleston, South Carolina harbor, taking the family dog with him. They found the dog later, floating alone in the small aluminum boat, but Buzz was never seen again. Fast forward two decades: his daughter Hannah is thirty-five with a successful business and a dedicated husband, Jon, in San Francisco. She’s left Charleston far behind, but not the conviction that her father is alive somewhere⎯not dead, just missing.”