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Mastering the art of soviet cooking : a memoir of food and longing

Author: Anya Von Bremzen
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, 2014.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First paperback editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Born in a surreal Moscow communal apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen, Anya von Bremzen grew up singing odes to Lenin, black-marketeering Juicy Fruit gum at school, and longing for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy and, finally, intolerable. In 1974, when Anya was ten, she and her mother fled to the USA, with no winter coats and no right of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Named Person: Anya Von Bremzen; Anya Von Bremzen
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anya Von Bremzen
ISBN: 0307886824 9780307886828
OCLC Number: 867078023
Description: xiv, 350 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Contents: Prologue: Poisoned madeleines --
Feasts, famines, fables. 1910s: the last days of the Czars --
1920s: Lenin's cake --
Larisa. 1930s: Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our happy childhood --
1940s: Of bullets and bread --
1950s: Tasty and healthy --
Anya. 1960s: Corn, communism, caviar --
1970s: Mayonnaise of my homeland --
Returns. 1980s: Moscow through the shot glass --
1990s: Broken banquets --
Twenty-first century: Putin on the Ritz --
Mastering the art of Soviet recipes --
Author's note --
Acknowledgements --
Selected sources --
A reader's guide --
A conversation with Anya von Bremzen --
A post-Soviet Zakuski party.
Responsibility: Anya von Bremzen.

Abstract:

Born in a surreal Moscow communal apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen, Anya von Bremzen grew up singing odes to Lenin, black-marketeering Juicy Fruit gum at school, and longing for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy and, finally, intolerable. In 1974, when Anya was ten, she and her mother fled to the USA, with no winter coats and no right of return. These days, Anya is the doyenne of high-end food writing. And yet, the flavour of Soviet kolbasa, like Proust's madeleine, transports her back to that vanished Atlantis known as the USSR . In this sweeping, tragicomic memoir, Anya recreates seven decades of the Soviet experience through cooking and food, and reconstructs a moving family history spanning three generations. Her narrative is embedded in a larger historical epic: Lenin's bloody grain requisitioning, World War II starvation, Stalin's table manners, Khrushchev's kitchen debates, Gorbachev's disastrous anti-alcohol policies and the ultimate collapse of the USSR. And all of this is bound together by Anya's sardonic wit, passionate nostalgia and piercing observations. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is a book that stirs the soul and the senses.

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