Olga Grjasnowa: All Russians Love Birch Trees
My lovely pal Greg sent me Olga Grjasnowa’s novel All Russians Love Birch Trees (Other Press) this week. The novel is translated by Eva Bacon & I greatly admire Ms Bacon’s translation of the original German text and Olga’s novel. The novel is funny and crisp and an insightful, subtle social commentary.
Here are a few snips I enjoyed while walking and reading in the sunshine today:
“The patient died yesterday, we’re finishing off his last cigarettes”
“But my professor was my professor. He sponsored foster children in Africa and India. His multiculturalism took place in congress halls, convention centres and expensive hotels. To him integration meant demanding fewer hijabs and more skin, hunting for exclusive wines and exotic travel destinations.”
“On my third day in Germany I went to school and was promptly demoted two grades. Instead of practicing Algebra I was supposed to colour mandalas with crayons.”