A Terrible Country

index.aspxAndrei Kaplan journeys to Russia to take care of his ailing grandmother after his brother must suddenly leave the country. Keith Gessen pens an interesting comparison of everyday life in 2008 Russia with its counterpart in the U.S. Andrei is still waiting to land a job in his field of Russian literature, so a trip to Russia cannot fail to have a positive impact on his career, he reasons. His Baba Seva is about to turn 90, and is struggling with the beginnings of dementia, and Andrei learns from her what it feels like to outlive almost all of your friends. Gessen mixes humor in with his details of Russian economics and politics, which makes for an entertaining read.

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