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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian par…
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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (original 2005; édition 2006)

par Marina Lewycka (Auteur)

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For years, Nadezhda and Vera have had as little as possible to do with each other. But now they find they'd better learn how to get along, because since their mother's death their ageing father has been sliding into his second childhood, and an alarming new woman has just entered his life.
Membre:Jen_Willis
Titre:A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Auteurs:Marina Lewycka (Auteur)
Info:Penguin Books (2006), 304 pages
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Une brève histoire de tracteur en Ukraine par Marina Lewycka (2005)

  1. 20
    Moonlight in Odessa par Janet Skeslien Charles (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: These books could possibly be the same story from different points of view. They're both very entertaining stories, and contain just the right amount of history and culture of Ukraine.
  2. 21
    Tout est illuminé par Jonathan Safran Foer (BillPilgrim)
  3. 01
    Le Don paisible par Mikhail Sholokhov (PilgrimJess)
    PilgrimJess: Gives a far better insight into Ukrainian history if that is what you are looking for.
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» Voir aussi les 415 mentions

Anglais (204)  Allemand (6)  Néerlandais (5)  Norvégien (3)  Catalan (3)  Français (2)  Suédois (2)  Espagnol (1)  Danois (1)  Toutes les langues (227)
2 sur 2
Drôle, mais finalement subtile derrière la caricature... ( )
  Nikoz | Jul 12, 2020 |
Très drôle : rafraîchissant, simple, sans prétention. J'ai beaucoup aimé! ( )
  michelle.bourque | Apr 14, 2009 |
2 sur 2
This is an odd one. Two years after the death of her mother, Nadezhda Lewis’s father, Nikolai Mayevskyj, a British resident and 1945 refugee from Ukraine, takes up with Valentina, a much more recent - and much younger - Ukrainian with a young son. The book recounts the unfolding of this relationship, through marriage and subsequent divorce proceedings and the reconciliation it brings about between Nadezhda and her older sister, Vera, who had become estranged following shenanigans involving their mother’s will. Nikolai is also writing the eponymous “Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian” extracts from which are doled out throughout the book.

This is all treated in a knockabout style and the characters are well delineated. In contrast to the humorous aspects there is also Mayevskyj family backstory from Ukraine which is much more sombre. Nikolai and his wife lived through Stalin’s farm collectivisations (and famines) of the 1920s and 30s plus the German invasion of World War 2. The main thrust of the novel, though, is really about Nadezhda’s lack of intimate knowledge of this past and Vera’s insistence that things belong there, not to be dredged up.

Some infelicities: the marriage takes place in a Catholic church even though Valentina is divorced (but the priest may not know) and Peterborough (United) are playing at home but appear on the big screen on a pub TV. This latter is unlikely I would think - even if they did reach the Championship.

Lewycka makes great play of the traumatic past of the Majevskyj family but to my mind there was a whiff of “something nasty in the woodshed” about her treatment of it.

A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian is entertaining but ultimately strives for more than it delivers.
 
The younger sister, Nadezhda, reminisces about Ukraine and ponders the country's history. She dwells on well-known tragic events: the famine, Nazi occupation, Stalin's purges, Babi Yar. The hard realism of these images is in stark contrast with the grotesque main plot. Reading this novel gave me the impression that I had read a school textbook on Ukrainian history with one eye on an episode of Coronation Street.
ajouté par KayCliff | modifierThe Guardian, Andrey Kurkov (Mar 19, 2005)
 
More than just a jovial farce about assimilation, A Short History Of Tractors in Ukrainian is spliced with family anecdotes and memories of the motherland. Nadezhda remembers her mother's salty vegetable soup and her father's prize-winning eulogy to a hydro-electric power station. More significantly, elder sister Vera comes clean about the family's wartime past, including time spent in a German labour camp.

Despite Lewycka's robust writing, the will-she-won't-she-stay element of Valentina's story is hard to sustain. The family ends up in court, but the outcome is predictable.
ajouté par KayCliff | modifierThe Independent, Emma Hagestadt (Mar 16, 2005)
 
Predictable and sometimes repetitive hilarity ensues. But then Lewycka's comic narrative changes tone. Nadezhda, who has never known much about her parents' history, pieces it together with her sister and learns that there is more to her cartoonish father than she once believed. "I had thought this story was going to be a knockabout farce, but now I see it is developing into a knockabout tragedy," Nadezhda says at one point, and though she is referring to Valentina, she might also be describing this unusual and poignant novel.
ajouté par KayCliff | modifierPublishers Weekly (Mar 7, 2005)
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (17 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Lewycka, Marinaauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Hartenstein, ElfieTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Kooreman, MarjaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
SitaraTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blond Ukrainian divorcee.
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He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.
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For years, Nadezhda and Vera have had as little as possible to do with each other. But now they find they'd better learn how to get along, because since their mother's death their ageing father has been sliding into his second childhood, and an alarming new woman has just entered his life.

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