*** Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen


I very much enjoyed Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing, a deceptively simple memoir of the author’s growing up in the USSR before moving to Philadelphia as a refugee — but laced with alternatively tragic and ironic references to food, whether of starvation under Lenin or forced consumption of caviar when she briefly attended a school for nomenklatura children. And she has plenty of other anecdotes, including her dad’s working at the institute that kept Lenin’s corpse presentable, the soviet’s marriage ritual that included a promise to raid children in he best traditions of Marxism and Leninism, or the dismal in Moscow during the Gorbatchev’s years. A wonderful blend of personal history and geopolitical history.

 

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