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Baba Dunja's Last Love
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
24 posts | 16 read | 36 to read
Government warnings about radiation levels in her hometown (a stones throw from Chernobyl) be damned! Baba Dunja is going home. And shes taking a motley bunch of her former neighbors with her. With strangely misshapen forest fruits to spare and the town largely to themselves, they have pretty much everything they need and they plan to start anew. The terminally ill Petrov passes the time reading love poems in his hammock; Marja takes up with the almost 100-year-old Sidorow; Baba Dunja whiles away her days writing letters to her daughter. Life is beautiful. That is until one day a stranger turns up in the village and once again the little idyllic settlement faces annihilation. From the prodigiously talented Alina Bronsky, this is a return to the iron-willed and infuriatingly misguided older female protagonist that she made famous with her unforgettable Russian matriarch, Rosa Achmetowna, in The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine. Here she tells the story of a post-meltdown settlement, and of an unusual woman, Baba Dunja, who, late in life, finds her version of paradise.
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HardcoverHearts
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Next up for #readgermanbooks2020 - a book from Alina Bronsky. Mel‘s Bookland Adventures on Youtube mentioning one of her other books, and it reminded me that I had bought this one as part of an ebook sale. Given that I love, love, love books about old women, I decided to read a bit this morning and cannot put it down. Wonderful so far!

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Abailliekaras
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Pickpick

A small gem. The characters sparkle - especially Baba Dunja, an old woman who has moved back to her home town (Tschernowo / Chernobyl). I loved their small community, daily struggles & Baba Dunja‘s frank assessment of her neighbours, told with dark humour. But it also made me think of ageing and how older people can be shunned or forgotten (in retirement homes for instance) - extreme here as they‘re ‘radioactive‘. Also one‘s connection to home.

Aimeesue Nice review! I just bought the Kindle edition. Europa's currently putting lots of their e-books on sale, cycling every few days. I picked up Bronsky's The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, too. (edited) 1mo
Rissreads I really want to read this! 1mo
Abailliekaras @rissreads it‘s great! @Aimeesue thank you! I‘m keen to read more of her work now. 4w
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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Tagged book is my top pick for this month. Also a good month for graphic novels: five were 5-star reads.

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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Pickpick

The pull quote from Library Journal on the front cover is spot on: Baba Dunja is SUCH a memorable character! A tiny Russian Ukrainian in her 80s, first to move back to her home in Chernobyl‘s “dead zone” after the “nuclear incident.” I loved this short novel so much, for its heart and humour. It reminded me of Olga Tokarczuk‘s forthcoming Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead. #translation from German by Tim Mohr.

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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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The strawberries and huckleberries in our woods give off radiation too, as do the porcinis and the birch bolete mushrooms that we gather in autumn …

(Photo by Hiromi Goto. Follow her on Twitter to see “A little beauty, every day.”)

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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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A biologist explained to me later that the stuff was stuck in my bones and gave off radiation around me so that I was myself like a little reactor.

(Internet photo)

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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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But God was abolished from our land when I was little and I haven‘t managed to get him back.

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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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“Do you know any languages other than Russian?”
“Surzhyk.”
“That‘s not a language, it‘s a dialect.”
_________
This exchange reminded me of a disagreement I had with my Slovakian cousin Valika who was certain there was no such thing as a Ukrainian language because what they spoke was a dialect of Russian. Later, she apologized and admitted her error. She may have been thinking of Surzhyk, a mixed Russian/Ukrainian dialect.

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Lindy
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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I ask Marja if she needs anything from the city, I ask Petrow, and think about asking Sidorow, too, but then I leave it be. […]
Petrow asks me for good news.
“Don‘t joke around,” I say. “I can bring you honey.”
“I don‘t want any honey,” he says. “I don‘t eat honey because it‘s made of bee vomit. Bring me good news.”
That‘s how he always is.

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Kathrin
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
Pickpick

For being such a short book, this sure covers a lot: From living in the death zone around Tschernobyl, to aging, to family drama and murder... we are seeing all of this through the eyes of Baba Dunja. A most enjoyable read for sure!

RaimeyGallant Nice review. :) 2y
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charl08
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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So many tempting books (TLS advert)

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MichaelKwan
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Pickpick

Yeah. The story of Baba Dunja is a quick read. 135 pages of good characters and good description. Baba Dunja's reminiscences of her life and of her present life in the village of Tschernowo is a plain story, well told.

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MichaelKwan
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Current read. Just arrived in the mail yesterday. Short, quick reading. Warm and funny. So far.

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Eastbriar
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Some of my favorites from this year. I absolutely adored Baba Dunja's Last Love and Milk and Honey, but the Neapolitan series was my favorite thing I read this year. It was hard to get into at first, but once I did I fell in love with it...and I was quite sad when it was all over! So glad I finally jumped on the Ferrante train, it was worth the hype.

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Novels
Baba Dunjas letzte Liebe | Alina Bronsky

Eines meiner liebsten Bücher im Jahr 2016.

SMR Geht mir auch so. Rs ist großartig! 3y
Buechersuechtling @Novels Ich fand "Scherbenpark" toll. "Baba Dunjas letzte Liebe" kenn ich noch nicht. 3y
Novels "Scherbenpark" kenne ich nicht... 3y
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Kimmie
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
Pickpick

Charming short read. Thank you NPR!! Great cast of characters and thoughtful story

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Twocougs
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Feeling good

Sue You should, great effort! 3y
MichelleM Good idea! 3y
lilycobalt Wow! Well done! 3y
erzascarletbookgasm 😯 Amazing! Well done 💪🏻 3y
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Twocougs
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Pickpick

I simply adored this book. It's beautiful, simple, kind, heartbreaking, and gentle all at the same time. Who would have thought a book about a mostly deserted town in Ukraine with high radiation levels would be so lovely?

Eastbriar I read this review and immediately placed an order for it! This is so my kind of book 😊 4y
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Twocougs
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Happy New Book Monday! I ❤️Europa Editions

LeahBergen I love them, too! 4y
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BestOfFates
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Pickpick

After starting Voices From Chernobyl I couldn't resist this quirky novel about an older woman making a life in a post-meltdown town in Russia.

Lindseyastin The cover is so adorable! 4y
BestOfFates @Lindseyastin I know! Who would have thought it of Europa? 4y
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BestOfFates
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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Found a rather Litsy-appropriate quote!

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BestOfFates
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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"You're really still a child, but everybody just sees you as an adult who is easier to step on than one who is older and more experienced."

ramyasbookshelf Oh wow! This book sounds really fabulous. I'm curious to see what you think of it. It'll be interesting if I get to read this after 4y
Lindy Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine was really good, so I'm sure this one will be also. 4y
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BestOfFates
Baba Dunja's Last Love | Alina Bronsky
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"Back when I was a nurse's assistant nobody had depression and when people killed themselves you called them insane, unless it was out of love."

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