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Russian Tattoo

A Memoir

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


An exquisite portrait of mothers and daughters that reaches from Cold War Russia to modern-day New Jersey, from the author of A Mountain of Crumbs—the memoir that “leaves you wanting more” (The Daily Telegraph, UK).

In A Mountain of Crumbs Elena Gorokhova describes coming of age behind the Iron Curtain and leaving her mother and her Motherland for a new life in the United States. Now, in Russian Tattoo, Elena learns that the journey of an immigrant is filled with everyday mistakes, small humiliations, and a loss of dignity. Cultural disorientation comes in the form of not knowing how to eat a hamburger, buy a pair of shoes, or catch a bus. But through perseverance and resilience, Elena gradually adapts to her new country. With the simultaneous birth of her daughter and the arrival of her Soviet mother, who comes to the US to help care for her granddaughter and stays for twenty-four years, it becomes the story of a unique balancing act and a family struggle.

Russian Tattoo is a poignant memoir of three generations of strong women with very different cultural values, all living under the same roof and battling for control. Themes of separation and loss, grief and struggle, and power and powerlessness run throughout this story of growing understanding and, finally, redemption. “Gorokhova writes about her life with a novelist’s gift,” says The New York Times, and her latest offering is filled with empathy, insight, and humor.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 11, 2014 – Gorokhova, the author of A Mountain of Crumbs, a memoir of growing up in Soviet Russia, recreates, in this engaging new work, her first experience of America in 1980 as a 20-something teacher who hastily married an American academic. She admits she was simply eager to get away from the controlling clutches of her motherland and her mother. With wry, unswervingly honest observer's eye, Gorokhova chronicles the increasing strangeness of her new country as she is overwhelmed by choices at the shoe store and the supermarket in Austin, Tex., where she lives with her husband Robert, who is unemotional and detached. She goes on interviews in a homespun sundress, trying to hide her sense of being "marked" as a Soviet exile, a "person with a dubious past." Gorokhova is eventually sent to live with Robert's psychotherapist mother in Princeton, N.J., and there, she falls in love with the more understanding Andy. With Andy's encouragement, she quits working as a server at Beefsteak Charlie's (she is embarrassingly bad at it) and starts teaching English to Russian immigrants at a business institute in New York City. This work from a young immigrant's point of view is both wondrous and stinging.
Russian Tattoo
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jan 06, 2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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