> Skip to content
  • Published: 15 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241981443
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $19.99

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian




The Booker longlisted first book from Britain's funniest bestselling novelist, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time

'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamourous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.'

Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must put aside a lifetime of feuding to save their émigré engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth.

But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget...

  • Published: 15 June 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241981443
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Marina Lewycka

Marina Lewycka's novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was long-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and short-listed for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. Subsequent novels include Various Pets Alive and Dead; Two Caravans; We Are All Made of Glue and The Lubetkin Legacy.

Also by Marina Lewycka

See all

Praise for A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

It's rare to find a first novel that gets so much right . . . Lewycka is a seriously talented comic writer

Time Out

A delightful first novel . . . an understanding of history, a profundity, and yet a lightness of touch, that are a joy... funny and touching

The Daily Mail

Hugely enjoyable . . . yields a golden harvest of family truths

The Times

Thought-provoking, uproariously funny, a comic feast. A riotous oil painting of senility, lust and greed

TLS

More than just a jolly romp with political undertones is the way it captures the peculiar flavour of Eastern European immigrant life . . . a very rich mixture indeed, as well as very enjoyable reading

Daily Express

Outstanding

Literary Review

Extremely funny

The Times

Mad and hilarious

Grazia

Funny, gritty, original ... one I adore

Independent

Remarkable, a lovely novel

Sunday Telegraph

Intelligent, lively, well written and compassionate

Financial Times

An extraordinary read . . . nothing short of amazing. A rare treat, all too easy to gulp down in one greedy sitting

Spectator

Hilarious

The Times

Memorably inventive, unexpectedly moving

Daily Telegraph

Enthralling

Sunday Times

Ploughs a rich comic furrow

Daily Telegraph

A clever, touching story

Economist

Wit, humour, sparkling dialogue, vivid characterization and generous spirit. Food for thought and a great read

Daily Mail

More than just a jolly romp with political undertones is the way it captures the peculiar flavour of Eastern European immigrant life . . . a very rich mixture indeed, as well as very enjoyable reading

The Times

A delightful first novel . . . an understanding of history, a profundity, and yet a lightness of touch, that are a joy . . . funny, touching and completely convincing

The Spectator

Related titles