In this enchanting biblio-memoir, comedian, broadcaster and russophile Viv Groskop, or Ã¢Â€ÂœVipulenkaÃ¢Â€Â Ã¢Â€Â“ her own personal diminutive, which translates as Ã¢Â€ÂœDearest Teeny Tiny Little VIPÃ¢Â€Â via a mishearing of Ã¢Â€ÂœVivkaÃ¢Â€Â (Ã¢Â€ÂœLittle VivÃ¢Â€Â) as Ã¢Â€ÂœVeepkaÃ¢Â€Â (Ã¢Â€ÂœLittle VIPÃ¢Â€Â) Ã¢Â€Â“ takes readers on a whistlestop tour through Russian literature by means of what sheÃ¢Â€Â™s learned from the classics. Arriving in Russia as a student in the 1990s, sheÃ¢Â€Â™s shocked to discover everyone banging on about fate the entire time, Ã¢Â€Âœlike something out of a bad Bond filmÃ¢Â€Â.
Nevertheless, she falls in love with the people and, most importantly, the literature, her impressive knowledge of which she conveys with a charmingly breezy tone. This is the first time IÃ¢Â€Â™ve seen Tolstoy described as Ã¢Â€ÂœOprah Winfrey with a beardÃ¢Â€Â. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s Samantha EllisÃ¢Â€Â™s How to Be a Heroine meets Elif BatumanÃ¢Â€Â™s The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them.
Ã¢Â€Â¢ The Anna Karenina Fix: Lessons from Russian Literature by Viv Groskop is published by Fig Tree (Ã‚Â£14.99). To order a copy for Ã‚Â£12.74 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over Ã‚Â£10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of Ã‚Â£1.99