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  • Two Caravans
    by Anna Reynolds at 22:11 on 05 September 2009
    I've just finished- and quite loved- this follow up to Marina's Lewycka's incedibly successful first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. The mix of tender humour and dark-edged threat of sexual trafficking is compelling; the characters are diverse and intriguing, and if some of the plot leaps are a little far fetched...there's so much to enjoy and be carried along by. I'm currently writing a theatre piece that's going out on tour this autumn about Polish immigration, so this book particularly interested me, as did The Road Home by Rose Tremain. I'm wondering if WWers can recommend other reasonably contemporary novels or memoirs about Eastern European migration experiences?
  • Re: Two Caravans
    by choille at 00:51 on 07 September 2009
    Good review Anna - makes me want to read it.

    can't think of any books off-hand on that subject, but would think PEN would have a better grasp on this than most - possibly?

    All the best with the theatre piece.

  • Re: Two Caravans
    by Vixen at 07:20 on 09 September 2009
    I don't know about any fiction - but there's a lot of fact. A friend of mine whose a lecturer in Halle, Germany, and is Hungarian told me the following:

    A private school in Moscow, nice middle class parents, arranged for their class of 14 year old girls to go to the UK on a class trip. The bus taking the girls was hijacked by the Russian mafia and the girls ended up in Kosavo. First, the girls were raped. One of the girls used her cell phone to call her parents. The mafia discovered this, came in and demanded to know who had called. No one talked so they shot one girl as an example to the others... The girls were rescued, totally traumatized.

    I haven't read much in English language newspapers about sex trafficking but if you were to look on the websites of major newspapers and do a search I'd bet you'd find something in the archives of all of them. There was a recent story in the Guardian, I think, about Polish women who thought they were coming to the UK to work in assorted jobs and ended up in forced prostitution.

    I flew back from Berlin once and caught the underground into London. I amused myself (as one does) by making up stories about my fellow passengers. There were two dark swarthy men supervising three bleached blondes, make up slapped on, in high spirits. I decided they were three prostitutes and the men were their minders. An interesting opening scene for you, with my good will.

    I hope some of this long, rather stream of consciousness, posting is suggestive if not immediately useful.