|A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian|
First edition cover
|31 March 2005|
|Media type||Print (Hardback& Paperback)|
|Pages||336 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-670-91560-2 (first edition, hardback)|
The novel won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize at the Hay literary festival, the Waverton Good Read Award 2005/6, and was short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction, losing to Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Originally published in English, this book was translated into Ukrainian where it has received critical acclaim.
The novel details in comic form the varied reactions by two daughters when their widowed father marries a much younger Ukrainian immigrant. The father, a former engineer, is writing a history of tractors in Ukrainian, translated extracts from which appear throughout the text.
The first-person narrator is the younger daughter, Nadezhda. After their father decides he is going to re-marry after his wife's death, Nadezhda feels outraged and worried, especially when she meets the wife-to-be: the voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. The hurricane on their lives that is Valentina serves to bring together the two daughters against a common enemy, as the middle-aged divorcee's intent becomes increasingly clear. The family's secret history emerges as the troubles continue, and their father is gradually weakened by his fiancée until the hold is finally broken.
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