Sarah’s Bookshelves Live

Hosted BySarah Dickinson

Sarah’s Bookshelves Live is a weekly show featuring real talk about books and book recommendations from a featured guest. Each week, Sarah of the blog Sarah’s Bookshelves will talk with her guest about:


I’m getting real about all things books and serving you up a bit of snark on the side.

Ep. 166: Andrew Boryga (Author of Victim)

In Episode 166, author Andrew Boryga joins me to discuss his debut novel, Victim, a funny and gripping satire about success and identity. Through the adventures of Javier, Victim explores what “diversity” means, why society loves a victim narrative, and the pitfalls of chasing fame online. Boryga combines humor with biting social commentary without sacrificing heart. This is a juicy and highly discussable story! In our chat, Andrew shares his inspiration behind the book, his decade long road to publication, and what he finds most effective in a satirical novel.  Plus, Andrew shares some fantastic book recommendations!

This post contains affiliate links through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).


  • A spoiler-free overview of Victim.
  • Andrew shares the inspiration and decade-long development of the story.
  • How his journalism background is reflected in his book.
  • Why Andrew decided to craft Javier’s story as a memoir.
  • Andrew’s journey to finding an agent and getting published.
  • Why Andrew followed his dream of writing fiction, rather than publishing an essay collection like many publishing insiders were advising him.
  • The way his story drafts and characters evolved over time.
  • How his MFA workshop helped shaped the story.
  • Riding that fine line for a balanced satire: focusing on the social commentary without going over the top.
  • The themes Andrew is exploring in his next book!

Andrew’s Book Recommendations [34:19]

Two OLD Books He Loves

Two NEW Books He Loves

One Book He DIDN’T Love

One NEW RELEASE He’s Excited About

Last 5-Star Book Andrew Read

Other Books Mentioned

About Andrew Boryga

WebsiteInstagram | X (formerly Twitter)

Andrew Boryga is a writer, editor, and author from the Bronx, New York, currently residing in Miami, Florida with his wife and two children. Victim is his debut novel.

Boryga began his career writing for a local newspaper in the Bronx at age 16, eventually securing an internship with The New York Timesby age 18. His nonfiction writing has since been featured in prominent publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and The Daily Beast, among others.  Boryga’s contributions to writing education extend beyond his own work, encompassing teaching roles for elementary school students, college students, and incarcerated individuals in Florida. He has also shared his insights on writing and the writing life through lectures at various academic institutions.  Throughout his career, Boryga has been awarded prizes by Cornell University, The University of Miami, The Susquehanna Review, and The Michener Foundation. 

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