I received a free copy of this book from Random House. I took it with me for my Hurricane Gustav evacuation read, started it, but left it at my host’s home. My host brought it back during Thanksgiving, and I finished it in a few hours.
Krasikov has written 8 powerful stories about mostly recent female immigrants from Tbilsi, Georgia, who live in New York city or the suburbs. Only two stories deal with protagonists going back home or to Russia.
All the women are educated, but some need to take a step down in the career ladder to pay their bills in the US. Their impressions of this country are different from other immigrant stories that I’ve read that take place in the 1900s. For one thing, with the advances in telecommunications, they can stay in contact with loved one left behind in Georgia and still know what’s going on over there. Many of them don’t tell relatives in the Old Country how difficult it is to live in the New World.
In Companion, Tania spends the night with Thomaz. “She felt as if her body had taken a long, full breath. She’d forgotten the way sex could sweep the clutter of the mind, and now she wanted to sit and inhabit this emptiness a while longer.”
In There Will Be No Fourth Rome, Regina, a young woman who moved from Georgia to the US in her youth, is in Moscow meeting up with friends. Her time in the US has changed her views, and she forgets the hardship of daily life by her comments: “In the metro I was met by the usual ocean of dour faces. My God, I thought, these people have chandeliers in their subway. They have sculpted arches and mosaics. Their stations look better than the halls of some universities! Couldn’t they at least be delighted about that? It was as if everyone in Moscow was suffering from exactly the same toothache.”
Keep an eye out for Krasikov’s next work, a novel. She’s an author whose works I plan to follow.