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3/4/11

GIVEAWAY & 20 QUESTIONS WITH: Elena Gorokhova, author of A MOUNTAIN OF CRUMBS


Description

Elena Gorokhova’s A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of a Soviet girl who discovers the truths adults are hiding from her and the lies her homeland lives by. Elena’s country is no longer the majestic Russia of literature or the tsars, but a nation struggling to retain its power and its pride. Born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, Elena finds her passion in the complexity of the English language—but in the Soviet Union of the 1960s such a passion verges on the subversive. Elena is controlled by the state the same way she is controlled by her mother, a mirror image of her motherland: overbearing, protective, difficult to leave. In the battle between a strong-willed daughter and her authoritarian mother, the daughter, in the end, must break free and leave in order to survive. Through Elena’s captivating voice, we learn not only the stories of Russian family life in the second half of the twentieth century, but also the story of one rebellious citizen whose curiosity and determination finally transport her to a new world. It is an elegy to the lost country of childhood, where those who leave can never return.

About the Author

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 24 she married an American and came to the United States with only a 20 kilogram suitcase to start a new life. Now, Elena is a writer and lives in New Jersey.

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Thanks so much for stopping by Elena!  There are some truly brilliant answers here. 
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20 Questions with Elena Gorokhova

1.            Bookmarks or dog ears?
Reading glasses.  I’ve reached the age when I just leave my reading glasses in the book.  I keep my place and I don’t lose my glasses.
2.      Dust jacket on or off when reading a hard back?
These days I read most books so fast I hardly know if the jacket is on or off.
3.      Favorite author?
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, who is extraordinary at portraying life as it is.
4.      Favorite genre’?
My favorite genre to read is poetry, but I write memoirs.
5.      What is the best book you have read in the last year?
Summertime by J.M. Coetzee, the finest writer alive.
6.      What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Slow Cooker Revolution (a bestseller!) by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen.  No matter how long the movie, it will be worth it in the end.
7.      E books:  Friend or foe?
An E-book will never replace the feel or smell of a physical book, but the E-book revolution is happening, and all I can say is “How do you sign an E-book?”
8.      Was there a book that inspired you to write?
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.  He was my teacher at the Southampton Writers Conference, and I owe the voice of my memoir to him.
9.      What are you reading right now?
Lies My Mother Never Told Me by Kaylie Jones, for the second time, to be followed by her father’s great book From Here to Eternity.
10.     What is the last book you bought just for the cover?
Well, we’re back to Slow Cooker Revolution.  There is a piece of lasagna on its cover to die for.
11.     What is the last book you received in the mail?
Simon & Schuster sent me 2 boxes (50 copies) of my own book A Mountain of Crumbs, which just came out in paperback. 
12.     What is the number of books you own?
More than my house has space for.  But does one really own a novel or a poem or a story collection?
13.     What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?
Brother Rabbit.  It’s a Russian book not translated into English.
14.     Do you have a favorite place to read?
My armchair in my office at home.
15.     What is next for you, publishing-wise?
With a little help from my agent, a book about my first year or two in the U.S. when I was a lost stranger in a strange land.
16.     Do you have a favorite place to write?
About 5 feet from the armchair I read in is my desk with a six-year-old laptop.  If any magic happens, it will happen there.
17.     Do you have any pets ?
A Lakeland terrier called Dima (short for Dmitri - or, maybe, demon).
18.    How does your garden grow?
It’s my husband’s garden that grows, not mine.  Weeding, watering and picking as a child who spent summers at the dacha near Leningrad left a less than positive mark on my soul as a gardener.
 19.  The last thing you Googled?
Like most authors (if they’re being completely candid) I googled my book to find out how it was doing.
20.     What makes you cringe?
Too many adjectives in front of a perfectly healthy noun.





WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?


Contest is open to anyone over 13 years old with a US or Canadian mailing addresses (no PO Boxes)

Contest ends on 3.19.11 Winner will be chosen by Random.org on 3.20.11
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is sponsored by Simon & Schuster and ONE copy will be available.

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33 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway. This looks so interesting.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  2. Thanks for the giveaway and I really liked her Q&A!

    llevinso.bookreader[at]gmail[dot]com

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  3. Daily Entry 3/4

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  4. Great Q&A. Thanks for the intro to this new to me book.

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  5. Daily entry 3/5. Thanks!
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  27. Happy St. Pat's!
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    Happy St. Patrick's Day

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  33. MAMABUNNY -- mamabunny13


    An email has been sent to the lucky people named above (first part of their email address in case my note ends up in spam). The winner(s) has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.


    Thanks to all who entered.


    PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOR THE EMAIL FROM BOOKHOUNDS @ HOTMAIL REQUESTING YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!

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