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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Little Failure

December 30, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Little Failure
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 List: Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart

Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart, is my next book on the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list. It’s not the first or only Russian-Jewish memoir. No, its significance lies in its ability to capture the complexities of becoming an American (and does so in a way that resonates for Canadian readers, too), and leaving behind the Soviet world.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Breaking Stalin’s Nose

December 25, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Breaking Stalin’s Nose
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Soviet Jewish Decade Top 10 Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

My third pick for the top works in the Soviet-Jewish world this decade is Breaking Stalin’s Nose, by Eugene Yelchin. It’s one of the very few books for kids about the Soviet period, and explains the mechanisms of the Stalinist era the eyes of a 10-year-old.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: When They Come For Us We’ll Be Gone

December 23, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: When They Come For Us We’ll Be Gone
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Gal Beckerman book

My first selection for the top 10 Russian-Jewish works of the decade is journalist Gal Beckerman’s When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone. Published in 2010, the book was — and remains — the first and most comprehensive history of the Soviet-Jewry movement. It won the National Jewish Book Award and the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and was named a book of the year by the Washington Post.

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Announcing the Soviet-Jewish Decade: A 2010s Top 10

December 23, 2019 /
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Soviet-Jewish Decade image of bookshelf full of Russian-Jewish books

As the decade comes to a close, I’m looking back at how the Russian-Jewish world has changed. Ten years on, we’re awash in words, in music, in art, in film, and more coming out all the time.

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Growing up Refusenik: A Q&A with Maxim Shrayer on his new memoir

December 12, 2013 /
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Maxim Shrayer memoir - Leaving Russia Interview

[Update – Want to read this in Russian? Click here to read a translation of my Q+A on Booknik.ru] Memoirs about Soviet-Jewish life during the immigration period of the 1970s and 1980s have not yet saturated the memoir genre, so I’m excited to tell you about a new book that’s just come out this month. Leaving…

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Tintin’s secret anti-Soviet propaganda roots

December 10, 2013 / Comments Off on Tintin’s secret anti-Soviet propaganda roots
Tintin anti-Soviet roots: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets

The library of my elementary school had an extensive collection of Tintin books. I managed to read them all in the three years I spent there. I haven’t picked up a Tintin since, even when the movie came out a few years ago. But I recently found a copy of “Tintin in the Land of…

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Appropriate Reading for Russian Vacations

June 11, 2013 /
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Russian Reading List for trip

It began with the first line, where, waiting to drop off my own visa application, I spent the 3 hours reading Maxim Shrayer’s Waiting for America about his summer as a refugee in Italy. My own Italian paperwork – proof of a citizenship removed – was tucked safely away in my bag. Then it was Olga…

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Friday Links: The no room for DIY parenting in the office of the future edition

March 15, 2013 /
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DIY Parenting

1. DIY parenting is the opposite of feminism The Atlantic takes up one of my favourite topics – the crazy effort required of DIY parenting. You know the kind, where parents (read: mothers) make their own baby food (ok, I did that, it’s called a blender and it’s closer than the grocery store), grow their…

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An interview with Swimming in the Daylight author Lisa Paul

July 17, 2012 / Comments Off on An interview with Swimming in the Daylight author Lisa Paul
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Cover of Swimming in the Daylight by Lisa Paul

I am really excited about today’s post – an interview with Lisa Paul, whose memoir, Swimming in the Daylight, is about her time in Moscow and friendship with Soviet refusenik and dissident Inna Meiman. In 1985, after returning from her trip, Lisa went on a hunger strike to bring attention to her friend’s plight and…

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CLOSED: A hunger strike! A memoir! A giveaway!

July 13, 2012 / Comments Off on CLOSED: A hunger strike! A memoir! A giveaway!
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Cover of Swimming in the Daylight by Lisa Paul

I’m very excited to announce that I’m doing a book giveaway in the next issue of the Soviet Samovar newsletter. Those of you who follow my page on Facebook can also sign up through the giveaway tab on the page. In 1985, an American student named Lisa Paul went on a 25-day hunger strike, to…

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