James Franco and Gary Shteyngart are starry-eyed lovers in "Little Failure" book trailer

The promo for the satirist's new memoir also stars Rashida Jones and Jonathan Franzen

Published January 6, 2014 2:16PM (EST)


New York Times bestselling novelist Gary Shteyngart, renowned for his social satire and self-deprecating humor, is releasing his first memoir, "Little Failure," on Monday. As with "Super Sad True Love Story," Shteyngart teased the occasion with a hilarious book trailer starring Rashida Jones, James Franco and novelist Jonathan Franzen (there's also a great cameo from Alex Karpovsky, who plays Ray on HBO's "Girls").

Since we last saw him in the "Super Sad True" book trailer, Shteyngart has apparently learned to read -- and he also has a new man in his life: prolific actor, writer and always trending hashtag James Franco.

Of course, since it's a Shteyngart creation, the book trailer is not filled with adulation, but instead open mockery -- his publishers reject his alternate titles of "The Portrait of the Young Man as a Mensch" and "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Jewness," landing on "Little Failure." But it's Franco who really overshadows Shteyngart's success with the publication of "50 Shades of Gary," an erotic journey -- nay, homage -- to his not-really-so-little husband.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Books Comedy Gary Shteyngart James Franco Little Failure Novels Satire Video Writing