A Mountain of Crumbs
A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of a young Soviet girl’s discovery of the hidden truths of adulthood and her country’s profound political deception.
Elena, born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, 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’s home is no longer the majestic Russia of literature or the tsars. Instead, it is a nation humiliated by its first faltering steps after World War II, putting up appearances for the sake of its regime and fighting to retain its pride.
In this deeply affecting memoir, Elena re-creates the world that both oppressed and inspired her. She recounts stories passed down to her about the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution and probes the daily deprivations and small joys of her family’s bunkerlike existence. Through Elena’s captivating voice, we learn not only the personal story of Russia in the second half of the twentieth century, but also the story of one rebellious citizen whose love of a foreign language finally transports her to a new world.
‘This moving memoir made me cry’
The New York Times
Elena Gorokhova has written the Russian equivalent of Angela's Ashes, an intimate story of growing up into young womanhood told with equal grace and humor -- Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate A Mountain of Crumbs is an exquisitely wrought, tender memoir of growing up in the Soviet Union . . . Gorokhova writes about her life with a novelist's gift for threading motives around the heart of a story, following it's plot with a light touch and unwavering honesty. * The New York Times * In the spirit of Dostoyevsky, it is an endlessly Russian quest for self-redemption . . . I advise you to read the book. It will give you pleasure -- Sergei Khruschchev, son of former Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev The story of a young person of sparkling intelligence, full of curiosity about the world, struggling to grow and blossom under a duplicitous, censorious, and unremittingly mean-minded social system. An enthralling read -- J.M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature This is a rich experience - a personal journey paralleled by huge national changes and ending in a deeply satisfying portrait of peace in America -- Frank McCourt, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes
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