The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine: Book summary and reviews of The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine

By Alina Bronsky

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

Rosa Achmetowna is the outrageously nasty and wily narrator of this rollicking family saga from the author of Broken Glass Park. When she discovers that her seventeen-year-old daughter, "stupid Sulfia," is pregnant by an unknown man she does everything to thwart the pregnancy, employing a variety of folkloric home remedies. But despite her best efforts, the baby, Aminat, is born nine months later at Soviet Birthing Center Number 134. Much to Rosa's surprise and delight, dark eyed Aminat is a Tartar through and through and instantly becomes the apple of her grandmother's eye. While her good for nothing husband Kalganow spends his days feeding pigeons and contemplating death at the city park, Rosa wages an epic struggle to wrestle Aminat away from Sulfia, whom she considers a woefully inept mother.

When Aminat, now a wild and willful teenager, catches the eye of a sleazy German cookbook writer researching Tartar cuisine, Rosa is quick to broker a deal that will guarantee all three women a passage out of the Soviet Union. But as soon as they are settled in the West, the uproariously dysfunctional ties that bind mother, daughter and grandmother begin to fray.

Told with sly humor and an anthropologist's eye for detail, The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine is the story of three unforgettable women whose destinies are tangled up in a family dynamic that is at turns hilarious and tragic. In her new novel, Russian-born Alina Bronsky gives readers a moving portrait of the devious limits of the will to survive.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Bronsky lands another hit with this hilarious, disturbing, and always irreverent blitz." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Bronsky instinctively understands that the way to a reader's heart is through great characters. Rosa and her family are creations that won't easily be forgotten, and the subtle and complex themes add plenty of flavor. This reviewer is looking forward to whatever she whips up next." - Library Journal

"What makes The Hottest Dishes great is Bronsky's sharp writing and desperate humor. I missed Aminat, Sulfia and Rosa – yes, even Rosa – when the book was over." - Ms. Magazine

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Author Information

Alina Bronsky Author Biography

Alina Bronsky was born in Yekaterinburg, an industrial town at the foot of the Ural Mountains in central Russia. She moved to Germany when she was thirteen. Broken Glass Park, nominated for one of Europe’s most prestigious literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, was her first novel. Alina Bronsky is a pseudonym.

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