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About the Book




RTG Book



2017-2018 Selection



Lev Golinkin - "A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka"

“[A] hilarious and heartbreaking story of a Jewish family’s escape from oppression.”The New York Times


Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. 



Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era.

This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka.  Mr. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990.  His op-eds and essays on the Ukraine crisis have appeared in The New York TimesLos Angeles TimesThe Boston Globe, and Time.com, among others; he has been interviewed by WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.





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