“More than anything, I wanted this book to take on the processed food industry. As a satirist, I wanted my novel to serve as a kind of corrective to it, if only by asking readers to question what it is they’re eating. But the food industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so it’s what it reveals about American life that is really at the center of the novel.”
What aspiring novelist doesn’t dream of early fame? Granted, it’s a willfully suppressed narrative—unwritten, unspoken, and perhaps for a noble few, unimagined—but most writers have contrived versions of a meteoric rise to literary success along with more prosaic early fictions. And, given the chance, who would shunt the regard of established authors, modest financial gains, and possible tenured teaching position that await? How I Became A Famous Novelist (Grove/Atlantic, July 2009), Steve Hely’s debut novel, uses this condition as pretext for rollicking satire.
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