A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian meets Desperate Housewives in this exploration of the booming business of Russian e-mail-order brides, an industry where love and marriage collide with sex and commerce.
'Language... remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you... at any time.' Harold Pinter
For my sister, Kathy Skeslien
Mr. Harmon had been driving me mad for six months, three weeks, and two days.
If you couldn't leave your country, no matter how you longed to escape, what could you do? How could you travel? Through books. This is why Odessans start nearly every sentence with, 'I read that' or 'Apparently . . .' We couldn't go anywhere, but we could read. ... Yet our shelves were filled with novels we didn't have time to read set in countries we would never see. The only state we could travel to was the state of irony.
He poured is each a cup of decaf. I took a sip and looked out the window. 'Not bad,' I said. 'Not bad at all.'