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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.
Elena Gorokhova grew up in St Petersburg, Russia, although for most of her life it was known to her as Leningrad. At the age of twenty-four she married an American and came to the United States with only a twenty kilogram suitcase to start a new life. The author of A Mountain of Crumbs and Russian Tattoo, she has a Doctorate in Language Education and currently lives in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, on BBC Radio, and in a number of literary magazines.