Friday, July 15, 2011

Tatyana Tolstaya

Pushkin’s Children: Writings on Russia and Russians by Tatyana Tolstaya
Weight: 9 oz
Method of Disposal: Sending to Vallan in Chicago. I initially bought it for her.

Pushkin’s Children is a collection of book reviews and essays. The book consists mostly of incredibly interesting, well-written, and informative book reviews. If only we could all write about books that way. The few other types of essays are also great. “The Price of Eggs” stands out for me right now. She talks about waking up to the words “Market Crashes” and the slow realization of what that actually means. The piece on Russian Cooking was hilarious and heart-breaking all at the same time. It is amazing to hear about the sheer amount of food required to serve the full meals described in the book, but it is infuriating to think of the servants eating next to nothing while they serve up elaborate meals to those with too much money. I got to read about Gorbachev, the parts about Yeltsin had me laughing out loud, and towards the end there is even a little bit about Putin. You should read this book. It is enjoyable, even if you have not read any or all of the books reviewed or even if you know very little about Russia. I cannot wait to get my hands on more of her stuff.

Just be wary if you have a passion for Alexander Solzhenitsyn. You may not after reading this or you may hate Pushkin’s Children.

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