Russian Tattoo: A Memoir

Simon & Schuster - As elena strives to bridge the gap between the cultures of her past and present and find her place in a new world, she comes to love the fierce resilience of her Soviet mother when she recognizes it in her American daughter. Before the birth of elena’s daughter, ordering everyone to eat soup and wear a hat, her mother comes to help care for the baby and stays for twenty-four years, just as she did in Leningrad.

Finalist for the william saroyan international prize for writing from the bestselling author of A Mountain of Crumbs, a “brilliant and illuminating” BookPage portrait of mothers and daughters that reaches from Cold War Russia to modern-day New Jersey to show how the ties that hold you back can also teach you how to start over.

Russian Tattoo: A Memoir - Elena gorokhova moves to the us in her twenties to join her American husband and to break away from her mother, protective, a mirror image of her Soviet Motherland: overbearing, and difficult to leave. Russian tattoo is the story of a unique balancing act and a family struggle: three generations of strong women with very different cultural values, all living under the same roof and battling for control.

Gorokhova writes about her life with a novelist’s gift, insight, and her second memoir is filled with empathy, ” says The New York Times, and humor.

A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir

Simon & Schuster - Elena is controlled by the state the same way she is controlled by her mother, protective, a mirror image of her motherland: overbearing, difficult to leave. In the battle between a strong-willed daughter and her authoritarian mother, the daughter, in the end, must break free and leave in order to survive.

Through elena’s captivating voice, we learn not only the stories of Russian family life in the second half of the twentieth century, but also the story of one rebellious citizen whose curiosity and determination finally transport her to a new world. It is an elegy to the lost country of childhood, where those who leave can never return.

A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir - . Born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, Elena finds her passion in the complexity of the English language—but in the Soviet Union of the 1960s such a passion verges on the subversive. Elena gorokhova’s a mountain of crumbs is the moving story of a Soviet girl who discovers the truths adults are hiding from her and the lies her homeland lives by.

Elena’s country is no longer the majestic Russia of literature or the tsars, but a nation struggling to retain its power and its pride.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Spiegel & Grau - One by one, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, we witness their profound, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them. Praise for nothing to Envy“Provocative. Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life.

Elegantly structured and written, it is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction. John delury, slate “at times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology. The philadelphia Inquirer Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize. An eye-opening account of life inside north korea—a closed world of increasing global importance—hailed as a “tour de force of meticulous reporting” the new york review of books   national book award fiNALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST   In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il the father of Kim Jong-un, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - . Offers extensive evidence of the author’s deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details. The new york times “Deeply moving.

A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir

Anchor - Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize. Anchor. Written with biting, jonathan safran foer, and david bezmozgis, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era.

A hilarious and heartbreaking story of a Jewish family’s escape from oppression. The new york timesa compelling story of two intertwined journeys: a Jewish refugee family fleeing persecution and a young man seeking to reclaim a shattered past. Lev golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.

And say thank you. It's also the story of lev golinkin, the american man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible. Years later, now an american adult, lev, and in the process, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, gain a future by understanding his past.

A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir - Lev golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. In the twilight of the cold war the late 1980s, nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna.

Russia's Empires

Oxford University Press - Russia's empires explores the long history of russia, analyzing how and why Russia expanded to become the largest country on the globe and how it repeatedly fell under the sway of strong, and the present Russian Federation through the lens of empire, the Soviet Union, authoritarian leaders. Using the concept of empire, they look at the ways in which ordinary people imagined their position within a non-democratic polity--whether the Muscovite tsardom or the Soviet Union--and what concessions the rulers had to make, or appear to make, in order to establish their authority and preserve their rule.

Authors Valerie A. Kivelson and ronald Grigor Suny examine how imperial practices shaped choices and limited alternatives. Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize. Anchor. Oxford university Press USA. Studying russia's extensive history in an imperial guise encourages students to pay attention to forms of inclusion, displays of reciprocity, and manifestations of ideology that might otherwise go unnoted, overlooked under the bleak record of coercion and oppression that so often characterizes ideas about Russia.

Russia's Empires - . The framework of empire allows the authors to address pressing questions of how various forms of non-democratic governance managed to succeed and survive, alternatively, or, what caused them to collapse and disappear. Russia's empires tackles the long history of the region, following the vicissitudes of empire--the absence, the coalescence, and the setbacks of imperial aspirations--across the centuries.