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TMORA Member Book Discussion - Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

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The Museum of Russian Art

5500 Stevens Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55419

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Exclusive to Members of The Museum of Russian Art, a small group book discussion group led by a different docent each month.

Read up with us, and join in the fun! All books are available in The IZBA Gift Shop at The Museum of Russian Art.


November's discussion will be led by TMORA docent, Deborah McKnight


Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking (A Memoir of Food and Longing)


By Anya Von Bremzen

Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right ofreturn.
Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste ofhumble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR. Wildly inventive and slyly witty, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.

***Space is limited. Advanced registration is recommended.***


Upcoming member book discussion schedule:



A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Led by Pat Spaulding

Saturday, January 20th, 2018 | 10:30am | Registration opens January 2nd, 2018


Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale

Led by Ruth Ann Benson

Saturday, February 10th, 2018 | 10:30am | Registration opens January 13th, 2018


The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander

Led by Wendi Sott

Saturday, March 24th, 2018 | 10:30am | Registration opens February 26th, 2018


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The Museum of Russian Art

5500 Stevens Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55419

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