A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka - review by Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis

Keeping it in the Family

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian


Viking 336pp £12.99

This title deserves a second chance. My first instinct was to recoil. What could be more boring or abstruse than a history of tractors in a foreign language? This is surely the stuff of the dustiest scholarship. And then an appreciation of whimsy kicks in. There must be more to it.

There is an academic treatise on the history of tractors at the centre of the story. It snakes through the book like a backbone of fact, read out chapter by chapter as it is written, by Nikolai Mayevskyj, the narrator Nadia’s ageing and eccentric father. While she battles to save

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