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Russian Tattoo: A Memoir – tekijä: Elena…
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Russian Tattoo: A Memoir (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2015; vuoden 2015 painos)

– tekijä: Elena Gorokhova

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
718287,778 (4.3)2
"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"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:svetlanagrobman
Teoksen nimi:Russian Tattoo: A Memoir
Kirjailijat:Elena Gorokhova
Info:Simon & Schuster (2015), Hardcover, 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
Avainsanoja:memoir, Russia, family, mothers and daughters, immigrants, immigration, belonging, adaptation, America, nonfiction

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Russian Tattoo: A Memoir (tekijä: Elena Gorokhova) (2015)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This book is a memoir by a woman who immigrated to the US from Russia, by marrying an American man, in order to escape her overbearing mother and Leningrad. I like the way this is written, with humor, and as a series of shorter pieces, that give the reader snapshots of different parts of her life; marriage; divorce; work (she teaches ESL college students); having her mother move to the US and live with her; parenthood. Gorokhova gives a good description of what it might be like to be dropped into another culture (the description of her first encounter with a hamburger, for example.)

The most touching part of the book is Gorokhova's struggles trying to raise her daughter to be bilingual, and her feeling that she was not able to impart important parts of herself and her culture to her daughter.

Her descriptions of the differences between Soviet and US culture are vivid. Here she describes a visit to Russure with her husband, Andy.

"No one needs any pictures, though, to see the distance that divides us. All they need to do is glance at Andy, at is straight spine and unencumbered shoulders, at his Western look--which comes not from leather shoes or Levi's jeans but from the way he moves without apprehension, the way his eyes are not afraid to see into the future. ( )
  banjo123 | Jun 7, 2020 |
Elena Gorokhova beautifully and painstakingly recounts her life as a woman caught between two opposite cultures as she transitions from an American wife and academic to a Russian-born mother. The memoir largely focuses on how she navigates these roles while being plagued with this feeling of foreignness with her family. This is relived through vignettes scattered throughout the book: her first husband can't understand why she doesn't dress like American girls; Andy's family can't fathom why she cooks mushrooms found in the woods; her mother thinks she's wrong in throwing away leftover food; while her daughter wants her to stop pressuring her to learn Russian.

This is not to paint the memoir as a negative book because the reader begins to see how she grows into being a Russian-American through her relationships and the satisfaction she gets from teaching English to fellow immigrants.

Russian Tattoo is a quick and charming read for anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of the cultural negotiation that immigrants go through as Americans. ( )
  acgallegos91 | Dec 7, 2015 |
Having read Elena Gorokhova's first memoir, A Mountain of Crumbs, I doubted that she could ever strike gold twice in the memoir genre. But she did! Russian Tattoo begins with her immigration to the U.S. after she married a college professor named Robert, who she knew for a brief period of time in Leningrad. By using a blend of scenes from the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. she conveys the extreme culture shock that immigrants have when coming to the U.S. But much deeper themes surface from reading the book: the place where one grew up leaves a permanent mark on us, and daughters become their mothers to an astonishing degree even when they have totally rebelled against everything they disliked in those mothers. Anyone with an interest in things Russian should enjoy reading this book. Highly recommended! ( )
1 ääni khiemstra631 | Mar 25, 2015 |
This was a "I really hate to put it down" book! From leaving Russia married to an American to live in the U.S., very interesting and written so well, you just picture what you are reading in your mind. The author explains her feelings and the way she sees the U.S. so well and her life. Has some twist & turns, not expected. ( )
  Jjean7 | Mar 10, 2015 |
A very thoughtful memoir. Excellent points about both cultures - Russian (Soviet) and American. Here is one: "Back in my insane Motherland waiters waited and teachers taught. Everything was permanent, everything made sense. If you moved tables, you knew nothing about books or theater. If you punched out cash register receipts, you thought Pasternak was an herb." So true... And what immigrant hasn't gone through this sentiment: "What I don't know anymore is where I belong. Which end of the ocean that divides the continents, the ways of life, should I now call home? " I was also humbled by the saying Gorokhova's mother, having followed her daughter into the new country, kept repeating: "When things are good you don't search for better"...

Every immigrant's path is same and different all at once. I can comment on the "sameness", having gone through that myself: what Elena Gorokhova describes is all very true. As for her individual circumstances - I have to admire her for ruthlessly baring her soul and exposing her own and her relatives' unvarnished weaknesses for the whole world to see. It's not an easy thing to do. For this, I give her so much credit that I am willing to overlook a few things that in the beginning of the book made me think she sounded a bit resentful and complaining, though that went away later on. Another thing, at times I felt like she was overreaching with the search for unusual, lyrical metaphors - not that most of them were not quite good, they were... But all that was minor, compared with the essence of her story.

In the end it's this: "Along with those who left their countries for other shores, I belong in neither land. We are unmoored and disconnected..." This memoir is a worthy sequel to Gorokova's debut novel "A Mountain of Crumbs". ( )
1 ääni Clara53 | Mar 4, 2015 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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I wish I could clear my mind and focus on my imminent American adventure.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"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"--

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