Okay, maybe it was wrong to imply that dating a blogger was useful for an ambitious novelist with a book to market. Literary hearthrob Keith Gessen, author of All the Sad Young Literary Men and editor of n+1 magazine, was to have featured prominently in an upcoming feature on Russian-American writers. But that was before editors at super-hip Russia! magazine discovered that the article's author, Gawker alumus Emily Gould, was romantically involved with her subject. Reports a spy: "One funny side effect of yesterday's item about the Gould-Gessen romance: RUSSIA! mag, where Gould has a big feature on "young Russian-American writers" in the next issue (closing this week), is furiously scrubbing the story of all mentions of Keith Gessen. Which were, of course, numerous, laudatory and unencumbered with disclaimers." After the jump, a passage from the draft.
Gessen also cops to "a drinking problem." And during the meals I share with them, Shteyngart and Gessen evince a clear love of eating: Shteyngart pushes a slice of prosciutto onto my plate while reminiscing about smuggling kielbasa into his Hebrew school as a child, while Gessen tries to coax me into ordering a po' boy sandwich even though I tell him I've already eaten a slice of pizza. ("That's not really eating. Sometimes I eat a slice of pizza because I'm bored.")