This reading recommendation comes to us via Jennifer Eremeeva’s Twitter feed. (Thank you the amazing Russian literary twitter!) Nino Haratischvili was born in Georgia in 1983 (according to Wikipedia), and lives and writes in German. She has been publishing fiction and drama since approx. 2001, and her novel The Eighth Life (for Brilka) was recently translated to English by Charlotte Collins and published by Scribe–Australia and UK based publisher.
Brief description from the publisher: “At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian Empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste …”
Note: In German, Nino’s last name is spelled “Haratischwili,” but in the English publication, it’s “v” instead of “w”: Haratischvili.
Pub date: October 1, 2019
Olga Zilberbourg spoke with Jennifer Eremeeva about Like Water and Other Stories (WTAW Press) in a podcast for The New Books Network. It’s a fantastic interview, including about cultural misunderstandings, which starts with Olga reading the inventive and touching “Dandelion” from her collection. Listen to the conversation and follow Jennifer on Twitter @JWEremeeva – we do!
“A new generation of Russian emigres is blessed — or cursed — with the ease of long-haul flights and frequent flyer miles, Skype and FaceTime, Google translate, and regulations that seem anyway to be more forgiving about former citizens traveling to and fro. For them, the border has become far more porous than it ever was, and the choices are now more nuanced. However, there are still plenty of cultural minefields to navigate. To this generation that includes writers as disparate as Gary Shteyngart and Irina Reyn comes Olga Zilberbourg with a new collection of short stories, ‘Like Water and Other Stories.'”
As a response to our first publicity efforts for this blog, Yelena and I received a tweet from Jennifer Eremeeva, an expat who moved from the US to Russia. In 2014, she published a book of short stories about her protagonist, also named Jennifer, who was a Russia super-fan in the 1980s, started learning the language and traveling around the Soviet Union on the eve of its dissolution–then met a man she fell in love with, and married him, and ended up staying for twenty years.
I’ve just started reading this book on Amazon, and this seems a page-turner. Jennifer is a keen observer and a natural storyteller, with a sharp sense of humor and attention to the nuance of language and culture. And she’s got so many interesting stories to tell!
Author: Jennifer Eremeeva
Title: Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow
Publisher: Small Batch Books
Pub date: February 3, 2014