Published in 2010, Super Sad True Love Story is a novel written by Gary Shteyngart. The novel takes place in New York City, where everyone is completely consumed by the media and consumer goods. Interestingly, this book takes place in the near future, not after some deadly pandemic or violent apocalypse; the economic and political scene is what makes this setting a dystopian one. Politically, one must either agree and survive or disagree and be eliminated; economically, America is flailing, as its Chinese creditors could send the entire country into collapse at any moment.
The protagonist’s name is Lenny Abramov, the son of a Russian immigrant, and Lenny is completely average, except that his mental state is still from the past. He still loves books, writing diary entries, and everything that his neighbors detest. However, he falls in love with Eunice Park, a modern young lady by the world’s standards. In this novel, Shteyngart explroes the themes of materialism, peer pressure, and what it means to be functional and valuable.