Welcome back to another post in the Monday Inspirations series, where guest bloggers write about the books and authors that have inspired them. Today’s post is by Dr Gulara Vincent.
What can a memoir set in Soviet Russia have in common with a memoir set in Iran? Let’s find out.
Elena Gorokhova’s ‘A Mountain of Crumbs’ stole my heart straightaway. Her writing is exquisite: I can see, smell, even taste the places she is writing about. Set in Leningrad in the thick of the Soviet regime, the characters in her story and the oppression she experienced as a young girl feel painfully familiar. Her mother reminds me of my grandma, and her rebellious sister of my mum. The poverty mentality, the constant fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, even her sweet tooth and the candy she used to eat as a child – I could relate to them all. I have memories of becoming a young pioneer, and the brainwashing we underwent at school. The public humiliation for loving someone at school if it came out into the open was on the cards too.
There were also points which diverged from my personal experiences. Like Elena, I loved English. Albeit grudgingly, Elena’s family supported her to pursue her dream and learn the language well. In contrast, Read More »Bringing Two Worlds Together