Russian Tattoo by Elena Gorokhova
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM SAROYAN INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR WRITING `Incredibly powerful ... by the time you reach the end, you'll have experienced the laughter, sorrow, joy, regret, love and hurt of a real life.' Alan Alda `The possibility of leaving Russia was never as thrilling as the prospect of leaving my mother.' When Elena Gorokhova arrives in America, the only link back to her Russian past is a suitcase filled with twenty kilograms of what used to be her life. Navigating a country she had been taught to fear, Elena begins to carve out a new life in an unfamiliar world. Before the birth of Elena's daughter, her mother comes to visit and stays for twenty-four years. Elena, must struggle with the challenge of raising an American daughter whilst living with her controlling mother, a mirror image of her Motherland. Russian Tattoo is the story of what it means to be an outsider, and what happens when the cultures of our past and present collide. Above all, it is an insightful portrait of mothers and daughters.