Margot (midnight_birth) wrote in margot_quotes,

Petropolis by Anya Ulinich.


Title: Petropolis.
Author: Anya Ulinich.
Genre: Fiction, adventure, romance.
Country: U.S.
Language: English.
Publication Date: 2007.
Summary: A funny and unforgettable story of a Russian mail-order bride trying to find her place in America. After losing her father, her boyfriend, and her baby, Sasha Goldberg decides that getting herself to the United States is the surest path to deliverance. But she finds that life in Phoenix with her Red Lobster-loving fiancé isn't much better than life in Siberia, and so she treks across America on a misadventure-filled search for her long-lost father.

My rating: 9/10

♥ "A comrade in trouble should never be afraid to ask for help," the long-haired boy said with a smirk. "In this basement, it's from each according to his abilities, to each according to his incompetence."

♥ The PE teacher, a tall woman in a tracksuit with a haircut that betrayed her secret desire to have been born a hedgehog, tested her megaphone and called for silence. Not a single person stopped speaking.

A girl from Asbestos 2.
Made love in a half-pipe.
Among unmarked graves.
Descendant of the repressed intelligentsia.

♥ Sasha Goldberg sat up in bed, thinking about the foreigners she'd seen in the metro. They were recognizable even from the back, by the way they sprawled out in crowded trains, by the ease of their postures, by their loud, unselfconscious laughter. Even when sober, the foreigners laughed like drunks. Sasha admired their forest-green fleece vests, their huge alabaster teeth, and especially the way their eyes skimmed over Russian crowds, only occasionally lighting up at the sight of a gypsy urchin with an accordion or a street photographer's muzzled bear cub. In the foreigners' indifferent wire-framed eyes, one could be neither beautiful nor ugly, neither a hippo nor a black-ass, but merely a molecule in a gray mass, a background to their experience.

♥ Luke sighs. "So, you like it here?"

That's an American question. Immigrants never ask each other this because they know the answer will be too long.

♥ She imagined the Komars' donation benefiting the Soviet Jews. Thanks to the organization's efforts, the Soviet Jews would get to travel, dazed and sweaty, in airplanes, with their fur coats underneath them in suitcases. On arrival, the young ones would exchange their gold teeth for more becoming white teeth and lose weight, while the old ones would keep their gold teeth and attend English classes to never learn English, and the children would go to school to forget Russian.

♥ Sasha watches him flick bits of chocolate off his BriteSmile Labs T-shirt, and her anger seeps away, replaced by pity so intolerable it feels like love.

♥ Squeezing into a diminutive orange booth in the window alcove, Sasha glanced at a group of mothers who sat in a circle around a low table. All of them were at least a decade older than she. All were slender, small-boned, and pale, with floppy dark hair. Most carried infants in identical black pouches strapped to their chests. Sasha pictured them bouncing around Glow in their high-tech sneakers like a herd of kangaroos.

She surveyed the tiny feet dangling from the carriers. A bald baby girl wore pink socks with a black design that made it look as if she were wearing Mary Janes. The clever socks reaffirmed the familiar dread in Sasha, made her think of Nadia again. How could she care for a child she feared?

Some of the mothers in the group looked up, and Sasha realized that she'd been staring. She averted her eyes. She was sure that the mothers were silently chiding her for even trying to be of the same species as they. You're missing something, Goldberg, their looks seemed to say. We're different animals. Our love dangles on our chests like a parachute, weighs down our shoulders. We instinctively touch its tiny feet to make sure it's still there. Where is your love? What color socks does it wear?

♥ Did love lift the weight of your unique suffering, dissolve the walls of your cube, release you alone into the world, anonymous and free?
Tags: 1990s in fiction, 2000s, 20th century in fiction, 21st century - fiction, 3rd-person narrative, adventure, american - fiction, bildungsroman, fiction, infidelity (fiction), my favourite books, parenthood (fiction), romance, russian in fiction

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