Synopses & Reviews
'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.'
"A beautiful, complex portrait of an immigrant community that, through its heart, virtuosity, humor, and unrelenting precision of vision, ends up being about America itself--about the complicated blessings that freedom, and the possibility of affluence, bring." George Saunders
"Ellen Litman's stories reminds us that the human soul is, in its essence, an immigrant: eager, rootless, searching tenderly for home. The depth of her insight, and the incandescence of her prose, is startling." Steve Almond
"Ellen Litman's intelligence is fresh, tender and wonderfully alive." Mary Gaitskill
In twelve "pristine, entrancing" () linked stories, Ellen Litman introduces an unforgettable cast of Russian-Jewish immigrants trying to assimilate in a new world. Tender and wryly funny, these stories trace Masha's and her fellow immigrants' struggles to find a place in a new society--lonely seniors, families grappling with unemployment and depression, and young adults searching for love.
"[An] elegantly constructed web of stories about Russian-Jewish immigrants....Warm, true and original."--
About the Author
Ellen Litman is the author of the story collection The Last Chicken in America, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award and for the Young Lions Fiction Award. She has been the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and her work has appeared in Best New American Voices, Best of Tin House, American Odysseys: Writing by New Americans, Dossier, Triquarterly, Ploughshares, and other publications. Born in Moscow, she teaches writing at the University of Connecticut and lives in Mansfield.