Friday, October 28, 2022

Shelf Control: All Russians Love Birch Trees


Shelf Control is a feature where bloggers pick an unread book from our shelves and talk  about it a little. It's supposed to be a Wednesday thing but I have French Movie Mercredi on Wednesdays already, so. Shelf Control is hosted at

 This week's pick is All Russians Love Birch Trees, by Olga Grjasnowa. It was originally published in German and translated by Eva Bacon, and published in 2012.

Flap copy:

Set in Germany and Israel, All Russians Love Birch Trees follows a young immigrant named Masha. Fluent in five languages and able to get by in several others, Masha lives with her boyfriend, Elias. Her best friends are Muslims struggling to obtain residence permits and acceptance, and her parents rarely leave the house except to compare gas prices. Masha has nearly exompleted her studies to become an interpreter when suddenly Elias is hospitalized after a serious soccer injury, forcing her to question a past that has haunted her for years.

How and when I got it:

I got it in 2014 from Other Press. I've kept it through several moves and truly intend to read it!

Why I Want to Read It:

I like contemporary Russian writers and this appealed to me as a coming of age and immigrant story. Grjasnowa writes in German and reminds me of Alina Bronsky, another Russian/German writer whose books I like a lot and who seem to have some overlap with this one.

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