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The Last Chicken in America

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The Last Chicken in America Cover

ISBN13: 9780393065114
ISBN10: 0393065111
Condition:
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"The immigration of Soviet and Russian Jews to the US in the 1980s and 1990s already has its own small body of literature in English. Litman, who grew up in Moscow herself, is one of a group of young writers from the former Soviet Union to publish novels or stories in the last five years....Litman's book, with its large ensemble cast, offers the most expansive and the most detailed view of Russian immigrants' experiences..." Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books (read the entire New York Review of Books review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Twelve linked, wryly humorous stories about an unforgettable cast of Russian-Jewish immigrants trying to assimilate in a new world.

Masha is just out of high school when her family arrives in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. With touching lightheartedness and tremendous humor, these stories trace her struggles and those of other Russians in the community to find their own place in the new society — seniors alienated from their children, spouses trying to hold their families together while grappling with unemployment and depression, young adults searching for love. In "Dancers" a pair of hedonistic and financially unstable performers invades the home of a married couple. The hero of "The Trajectory of Frying Pans" falls for a coworker who may or may not be trapped in a green-card marriage. In "About Kamyshinskiy" a man, living under the scrutiny of his daughters and neighbors, is trying to start over after the death of his wife. This is an impressive debut about the sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious collision of cultures, religions, and generations in contemporary America.

Review:

"'Russian immigrants settle in Pittsburgh and attempt to assimilate in this linked set from Litman, who emigrated from Moscow in 1992. Masha, a lonely dreamer, is a vulnerable teen desperate to distinguish herself from the other Russians in town. As she struggles to help her obstinate parents settle down, she finds comfort in Alick, a friendly exchange student from Moscow who gives Masha her first lesson in love. Subsequent stories introduce a plethora of characters: Tanya, a repressed housewife, longs to escape her loveless marriage, while single mother Natasha has a set of friends who insist on setting her up, and widower Kamyshinskiy attempts to start over. Throughout, Litman deploys a style that's a perfect mix of sophistication and bewilderment, as her often highly educated characters cope with various forms of underemployment, with American buoyancy and with their own sometimes suffocating subculture. While Masha is a focal point, each of the stories has its own arc, and the community never comes into focus as a whole. The result is less like a novel than a coherent set of mostly first-person character studies by a very promising writer. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

"[An] elegantly constructed web of stories about Russian-Jewish immigrants....Warm, true and original."'"New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

Twelve linked, wryly humorous stories about an unforgettable cast of Russian-Jewish immigrants trying to assimilate in a new world.

Synopsis:

Masha is just out of high school when her family arrives in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. With touching lightheartedness and tremendous humor, these stories trace her struggles and those of other Russians in the community to find their own place in the new society--seniors alienated from their children, spouses trying to hold their families together while grappling with unemployment and depression, young adults searching for love. In "Dancers" a pair of hedonistic and financially unstable performers invades the home of a married couple. The hero of "The Trajectory of Frying Pans" falls for a coworker who may or may not be trapped in a green-card marriage. In "About Kamyshinskiy" a man, living under the scrutiny of his daughters and neighbors, is trying to start over after the death of his wife. This is an impressive debut about the sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious collision of cultures, religions, and generations in contemporary America.

About the Author

Ellen Litman has received a Rona Jaffe Award and earned her MFA from Syracuse University. She immigrated to the United States from Moscow in 1992 and currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Steven Wagner, February 17, 2008 (view all comments by Steven Wagner)
Litman's funny, sad, and generally awesome debut makes me praise the gods I can read. Want perspective? Elaine Blair's review of "The Last Chicken in America: A Novel in Stories by Ellen Litman" (The New York Review of Books. 54. 20 [2007]: 80) situates Litman's work within the great tradition of immigrant American fiction while Maud Newton's review, "Fiction - THE LAST CHICKEN IN AMERICA: A Novel in Stories" (The New York Times Book Review. [2007]: 16) confirms that Litman's book is one to buy multiple copies of for one's own collection of great firsts and for gifts to everyone one knows.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393065114
Author:
Litman, Ellen
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Jews, russian
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Jews, Russian -- United States.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.36x6.33x.85 in. .87 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Last Chicken in America New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393065114 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Russian immigrants settle in Pittsburgh and attempt to assimilate in this linked set from Litman, who emigrated from Moscow in 1992. Masha, a lonely dreamer, is a vulnerable teen desperate to distinguish herself from the other Russians in town. As she struggles to help her obstinate parents settle down, she finds comfort in Alick, a friendly exchange student from Moscow who gives Masha her first lesson in love. Subsequent stories introduce a plethora of characters: Tanya, a repressed housewife, longs to escape her loveless marriage, while single mother Natasha has a set of friends who insist on setting her up, and widower Kamyshinskiy attempts to start over. Throughout, Litman deploys a style that's a perfect mix of sophistication and bewilderment, as her often highly educated characters cope with various forms of underemployment, with American buoyancy and with their own sometimes suffocating subculture. While Masha is a focal point, each of the stories has its own arc, and the community never comes into focus as a whole. The result is less like a novel than a coherent set of mostly first-person character studies by a very promising writer. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The immigration of Soviet and Russian Jews to the US in the 1980s and 1990s already has its own small body of literature in English. Litman, who grew up in Moscow herself, is one of a group of young writers from the former Soviet Union to publish novels or stories in the last five years....Litman's book, with its large ensemble cast, offers the most expansive and the most detailed view of Russian immigrants' experiences..." (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Synopsis" by , "[An] elegantly constructed web of stories about Russian-Jewish immigrants....Warm, true and original."'"New York Times Book Review
"Synopsis" by , Twelve linked, wryly humorous stories about an unforgettable cast of Russian-Jewish immigrants trying to assimilate in a new world.
"Synopsis" by , Masha is just out of high school when her family arrives in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. With touching lightheartedness and tremendous humor, these stories trace her struggles and those of other Russians in the community to find their own place in the new society--seniors alienated from their children, spouses trying to hold their families together while grappling with unemployment and depression, young adults searching for love. In "Dancers" a pair of hedonistic and financially unstable performers invades the home of a married couple. The hero of "The Trajectory of Frying Pans" falls for a coworker who may or may not be trapped in a green-card marriage. In "About Kamyshinskiy" a man, living under the scrutiny of his daughters and neighbors, is trying to start over after the death of his wife. This is an impressive debut about the sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious collision of cultures, religions, and generations in contemporary America.
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