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A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir by Elena…
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A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir (edition 2011)

by Elena Gorokhova

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3002137,355 (3.79)24
Member:dpelaez
Title:A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir
Authors:Elena Gorokhova
Info:Simon & Schuster (2011), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir by Elena Gorokhova

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This was a tender insightful memoir of Elena Gorokhova growing up in 1960's Leningrad. ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 25, 2016 |
This book is well written. aAso, the themes that are raised there are very familiar to me. ( )
  svetlanagrobman | Mar 20, 2015 |
Elena Gorokhova's Mountain of Crumbs could be called an autobiography in short essays. Each self-contained chapter focuses on an aspect of Gorokhova's life (or, in some cases, her family's life) in the former Soviet Union. She studies English in college, complains about her lack of access to consumer goods, and chafes under her mother's "overbearing, protective" stranglehold on her life (p. 1). Not much of note actually happens to Gorokhova, however, until, as a 24-year-old "old maid" (by Soviet standards, anyway), she enters into a marriage of convenience in order to escape her homeland.

Gorokhova's writing is good and her observations about the daily indignities of life in the Soviet Union are revealing. Her account of her mother's family's experiences during the Great Patriotic War (World War II) is particularly moving. But the lack of narrative momentum in the chapters about Gorokhova's own coming-of-age story make this book more of a slog than it should have been. ( )
  akblanchard | Nov 3, 2014 |
Most readers who loved this book wanted to read more of her story.

Elena tells about coming to America at her website:

http://elenagorokhova.com/

With the eloquence of a master story teller, Elena has shared intimately and generously her memories and her soul. Her memoir is a revealing story which is poignant and funny, painful and powerful ~ a story of growing up and coming of age under the oppression of the USSR. Even though she tells of life strangled and dreams stifled under communist control, deception and deprivation, she also speaks of the appreciation for life's simpler pleasures in the face of adversity ~ for family, for language, for poetry, for art.





( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Most readers who loved this book wanted to read more of her story.

Elena tells about coming to America at her website:

http://elenagorokhova.com/

With the eloquence of a master story teller, Elena has shared intimately and generously her memories and her soul. Her memoir is a revealing story which is poignant and funny, painful and powerful ~ a story of growing up and coming of age under the oppression of the USSR. Even though she tells of life strangled and dreams stifled under communist control, deception and deprivation, she also speaks of the appreciation for life's simpler pleasures in the face of adversity ~ for family, for language, for poetry, for art.





( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
“A Mountain of Crumbs” has enough insight and wistful comedy to keep you turning the pages, but I wanted more from it — more incident, more drama, more straight talk. Its details might have formed the background of a delicious, and more robust, novel. Sometimes memoir can only take you so far.
 
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For my mother, Galina Konstantinovna Maltseva
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I wish my mother had come from Leningrad, from the world of Pushkin and the tsars, of granite embankments and lack ironwork, of pearly domes buttressing the low sky.
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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.
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Elena Gorokhova grows up in 1960's Leningrad where she discovers that beauty and passion can be found in unexpected places in Soviet Russia.

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