What did the disintegration of the Soviet Union feel like for the people who lived through it? Award-winning writer Sasha Salzmann tells this story in a remarkable novel about two women in extraordinary times.
As a child, Lena longs to pick hazelnuts in the woods with her grandmother. Instead, she is raised to be a good socialist: sent to Pioneer summer camps where she's taught to worship Lenin and sing songs in praise of the glorious Soviet Union. But perestroika is coming.
Lena's corner of the USSR is now Ukraine, and corruption and patronage are the only ways to get by - to secure a place at university, an apartment, treatment for a sick baby. For Tatjana, the shock of the new means the first McDonald's in the Soviet Union and certified foreign whisky, but no food in the shops; it means terrible choices about how to love. Eventually both women must decide whether to stay or to emigrate, but the trauma they carry is handed down to their daughters, who struggle to make sense of their own identities.
Glorious People is a vivid depiction of how the collapse of the Soviet Union reverberated through the lives of ordinary people. Engrossing, rich in detail and unforgettable characters, this is a captivating love letter to mothers and daughters.
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