Wednesday, 28 May 2014

All Russians Love Birch Trees

You know how you sometimes find a book title that is absolutely compelling, calling your name?  All Russians Love Birch Trees is one such title. I saw the book (Ryssar är såna som gillar björkar in Swedish) and had to read it. My opinions about the book are somewhat mixed. It was a pleasant read, it touched upon topics very dear to me (like languages - I feel like I want to learn Arabic now), but at the same time I did not get the point of the rather confusing story and the ending was too abrupt for my taste.

This debut novel by Olga Grjasnowa deals with not fitting in and seeking escape in languages as a mode of detachment from reality. Masha is an interpreter residing in Frankfurt and seeking refuge in languages. Something from her childhood in Azerbaijan haunts her, she does not want to speak about it. When her boyfriend Elias dies, she escapes to Israel where she has a mental breakdown of sorts.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

That book sounds really good! I think I found it in English, too, so I will have to put it on my reading list.

Semi-off topic, but I thought this would interest you (it's about Russia and Slovakia):