Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trailer Park Tuesday: The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

Here's a surefire way to get someone to pay attention to your book trailer: dress your cute-as-a-button five-year-old son in a tuxedo, film him asking you questions about your debut novel, throw in some witty pop culture references (penguins, Breaking Bad) and, PRESTO!, you've got an irresistibly-charming video like the one for Mira Jacob's The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing.  Ms. Jacob's son Zakir stars as the host of a talk show (theme song: "He really doesn't read, but he loves those books!") whose job it is to ask his mom some cue-card questions about her novel ("You are a first-generation American--how does that inform your writing?").  Sure it's a shameless gimmick, but somehow it works.  I'm definitely hooked into wanting to know more about The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing (as if I wasn't already there with that wonderful title).  It's a 500-page saga about an Indian-American family's journey from 1970s India to suburban 1980s New Mexico to Seattle during the dot.com boom which has drawn comparisons to Meg Wolitzer, Mona Simpson, and--predictably--Jhumpa Lahiri.  Gary Shteyngart calls it “Punchy, clever, and stuffed with delicious chapatis.”  Zakir references this blurb in the trailer and it's nice to see that I'm not the only one who struggles to pronounce Shteyngart's name.  To be honest, though, as cute as Zakir may be in the trailer, it's his mother who charms me the most.  If her writing is as witty and wise as she is here on camera, then I'm ready to go dancing through these pages.


  1. I'm a third of the way into this now, and concur with Shteyngart 100 percent - it is fantastic. Hadn't seen the trailer before - but, very amusing!

  2. Uh oh, another one to add to the towering stacks. This looks superb.