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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

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Country  United Kingdom
Publication date  31 March 2005
Originally published  31 March 2005
Genre  Comic novel
Publisher  Viking Press
3.4/5 Goodreads

Language  English
OCLC  57382192
Author  Marina Lewycka
ISBN  0-670-91560-2
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian t3gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcQ5QA7OlfEK9JZlL
Media type  Print (Hardback& Paperback)
Pages  336 pp (first edition, hardback)
Awards  Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, Waverton Good Read Award
Similar  Marina Lewycka books, Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize winners, Comic novel books

Book review of a short history of tractors in ukrainian the myth of socialist sweden


A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is a humorous novel by Marina Lewycka, first published in 2005 by Viking (Penguin Books).

Contents

The novel won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize at the Hay literary festival, the Waverton Good Read Award 2005/6, and was short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction, losing to Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin. Over a million copies have been sold in the UK.

The book was originally published in English, and has been translated into Russian and Ukrainian. In a BBC Bookclub interview, the author mentioned that some reviewers of the Ukrainian translation were hostile, seeing it as an attack on their country.

Marina lewycka a short history of tractors in ukrainian filmed by happenstance radio


Plot

The novel describes the reactions of two daughters when their widowed, 84-year-old father Nikolai marries a highly sexual and much younger Ukrainian immigrant, Valentina. Concerned about Valentina’s motives, Nadezhda and Vera are drawn back into contact with each other after a long period of estrangement. They find themselves united against a common enemy in Valentina, whose grasping, manipulative behavior escalates until the daughters finally succeed in obtaining a divorce for their father.

Nikolai, a former engineer who emigrated to Britain in the aftermath of the Second World War, is writing a history of tractors in Ukrainian, translated extracts from which appear throughout the text. In the process of sorting out Nikolai’s marital entanglements, Nadezhda also uncovers secrets from her family’s history and learns about their experiences during the Ukrainian famine and Stalin’s purges.

The action takes place in Peterborough, England, and is narrated by the youngest daughter, Nadezhda, a university lecturer in Sociology.

Reception

Andrey Kurkov, reviewing the book in The Guardian, calls the book a "banal tale" that will not teach the reader anything about "the Ukrainian community in Britain". He states that the "rhythm and dynamics of this debut novel are well managed", and that Lewycka is successful in setting up "many comic situations", but finds the characters, such as Valentina with her "enormous breasts" and liking for green satin underwear, "caricatures" and the novel "constructed".

References

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Wikipedia


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