Lost in Moscow: A Brat in the USSR by Kirsten Koza

Lost in Moscow: A Brat in the USSR

byKirsten Koza

Kobo ebook | September 20, 2013

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When most parents consider sending their child to summer camp, they imagine a sunny lake a few hours from home. In 1977, the parents of 11-year-old Kirsten Koza sent their pigtailed, sass-talking offspring to camp in the Soviet Union — with only fifty dollars in her pocket.

Lost in Moscow tells the story of Kirsten’s unusual summertime hi-jinks: evading the Soviet Red Army in a foot race through Red Square, receiving radiation treatments for a minor case of tonsillitis, and making a gut-churning, unauthorized parachute jump — without being certain whether her parachute would even stay on.

CBC (Radio Canada International) says Lost in Moscow is “the ultimate what-I-did-last-summer essay ever.”

CHRY (radio, Toronto): “Kirsten Koza is like Judy Blume on acid.”

Uptown magazine: “Koza, who has a degree in theatre, knows how to tell a story.”

In the Hills magazine: "Lost in Moscow is a funny and fascinating look at the Western World’s bogeyman of the day—communism—through the fresh eyes of a child."


Kirsten Koza is a humorist and adventure travel writer. Her first book, Lost in Moscow, was published by Turnstone and is available in paperback. She’s also a contributor to Travelers’ Tales anthologies: Her story “Chasing Tornadoes” is in The Best Women’s Travel Writing (2013, volume 9), her Kyrgyzstan adventure “Mare’s Milk, Mountain Bikes, Meteors & Mammaries; a nipply night in nomad’s land” is in The Best Women’s Travel Writing (Volume 8), and her misadventure “Easter Island: The Chilean with the Brazilian” is in Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, the 9th book in the Travelers’ Tales best-selling humour series.

Kirsten has a BA in theatre from Dalhousie University in Canada, and completed the post graduate programme at East 15 Acting School in England. Photos from her adventures can be seen on her website at www.kirstenkoza.com

Title:Lost in Moscow: A Brat in the USSRFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 20, 2013Publisher:Sutton House PressLanguage:English

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching and hilarious If you've ever been to summer camp, or seen a movie about going to a summer camp-or just have ideas about what life is like in a summer camp, you must read LOST IN MOSCOW: a brat in the U.S.S.R. by Kirsten Koza. You can't imagine what summer camp was like in the Soviet Union in 1977. Kirsten Koza knows first-hand, and has written about what it was like for an 11 year-old girl from Toronto to go to camp in cold-war Russia. What would possess a parent to send their child to the other side of the planet to go to summer camp? She tells us that her grandmother entered her name in a raffle that was hosted by the Soviet government. The prize was for a child to be sent to a camp in the USSR for the summer. She goes on to say, "It was the only raffle my grandmother ever won." Even before she arrives at the camp, she gets lost in Moscow, breaks the rules in Red Square and gets chased by the Red Army. Her book, besides being a wonderful time capsule of the early seventies, has a voice that is true and authentic. It represents perfectly, the language and cadence of the seventies, and for context touches on seventies current events to anchor you to the period. Lost In Moscow reminds us that it was a different world in the seventies. For instance, everyone seemed to smoke, and smoke everywhere: something we find completely foreign now. Russia was then a part of the Soviet Union, and for most people, a dark grey mystery. The young campers' characters are rich and nuanced, and the Soviets are serious, kind, and puzzled by the westerners. The beauty of this memoir, is the unwavering perspective of the author as an eleven-year-old Kirsten. Kirsten, who's name most people seem to mispronounce, allows us to accompany her on this adventure, and confides in us. This is no summer camp for the privileged suburbanite. I won't spoil it for you by giving anything away, but the chapter titles are priceless. Chapter 1 is, "There is no milk. You may have vodka." This book had me hooked as soon as I turned the first page, and held me throughout. You'll love LOST IN MOSCOW: a brat in the U.S.S.R.
Date published: 2016-05-04