A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Marina Lewycka

Read February 2007

A title like this presages a book that is either weak or entirely over-the-top. This feeling deepens when the first page reveals that this is a comedy set in the Viagra age. This feeling is confirmed when the author uses tactics such as voicing a protagonist in a slightly amusing accent. Yet Lewycka wields a sure, fine hand; every time the story threatens to wander into Anna Nicole Smith territory, she proves to be watching over and sequestering it in the realm of literature. The result is taut; it has humor, charm, and bathos. Not profound, and perhaps a bit overrated, but entertaining and provocative. Perhaps immigrants will find more in it to appreciate.