Strawberry Fields

Paperback | May 6, 2008

byMarina Lewycka

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On an idyllic patch of English countryside a handful of migrant workers spend their days picking strawberries and dreaming of a better life, and their nights in two tiny trailer homes—one for men and one for women. All is harmonious in this cozy vale until Farmer Leaping’s wife comes upon him and the berrypicking boss, Yola, in a compromising position. Fury ensues, the police are called, and the migrant workers pile into one of the trailer homes and hightail it out of their little Arcadia, setting off on one of the most enchanting, merry, and moving picaresque journeys since Chaucer’s pilgrims set off to Canterbury.

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On an idyllic patch of English countryside a handful of migrant workers spend their days picking strawberries and dreaming of a better life, and their nights in two tiny trailer homes—one for men and one for women. All is harmonious in this cozy vale until Farmer Leaping’s wife comes upon him and the berrypicking boss, Yola, in a compr...

MARINA LEWYCKA was born in Kiel, Germany, at the end of the war and grew up in England. She is married with a grown-up daughter and lives in Sheffield. Her two previous novels, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Strawberry Fields, are available in paperback from Penguin.

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A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.55 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:May 6, 2008Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143055151

ISBN - 13:9780143055150

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Editorial Reviews

“An effervescent comedy, beneath which lies a more somber look at the costs of globalization.” - New Yorker“[A] winner of a second novel… [A] picaresque romp… Rarely have the realities behind supermarket specials been depicted so pungently. … Yet Lewycka’s tale perfectly balances heaven and hell, idealism and suffering. … Romance, economics, and, finally, the power of the spirit: This third ingredient spices up our satirical stew. … Lewycka goes Chaucer one better.” - Toronto Star“Absolutely splendid.” - Boston Globe“Of course, it’s more than just funny. It’s also sad and wise and tender and generous and even sexy…. It is to the author’s credit that her satirical impulse never disguises the terrible sadness of her characters’ lives. If anything, the comedy and drama draw from the same source: the gap between dreams and numbing reality. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…. One way or another, these strawberry fields are forever.” - Washington Post“[A] rollicking good read with a wickedly dry sense of humour. It’s a powerful and globally significant story…. rich and intense. … Marina Lewycka’s talent lies in portraying these characters with such depth that when they unintentionally mess up the English language, or when they stroll innocently into the next major disaster, you believe they are strong and capable, you believe they will eventually figure it out, pull themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on.” - Michelle Berry, The Globe and Mail“One of the first ideas to capture the heart in this novel about migrant strawberry pickers is Yola’s boundless hope for ‘a pleasant sexual harmony’ for her community. And from that hope, which the reader will recognize to be at once barely possible, sadly funny, joyful and intoxicating, comes an intoxicating narrative energy.” - Bonnie Burnard“An uplifting and laugh-out-loud read.” - InStyle“With its rollicking humor and compassionate outlook, Strawberry Fields works as both social satire and outraged exposé, as frothy love story and primer on the underbelly of capitalism.” - Montreal Gazette“Lewycka has come up trumps. Twisting together humour with the reality of life as an immigrant, she proves she is no one-book wonder.” - Harper’s Bazaar“In Marina Lewycka’s second novel, clumsy romance gone awry meet incisive social commentary on global capitalism on a cinematic travelling road show through the British countryside. …has delivered another fast-paced and hilarious novel. …Lewycka brings a cast of disparate characters beautifully to life….” - NOW Magazine“A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian introduced [Lewycka’s] comic genius. She is, as Strawberry Fields confirms, more precisely a mistress of the tragicomic, seamlessly welding humor and pathos into realistically zany episodes…. Strawberry Fields contains bushels of food for thought.” - San Francisco Chronicle“[A]n exposé of human trafficking through the eyes of desperate migrant workers who only hoped for a better life.” - Winnipeg Free Press“A sweet, quirky tale.” - Elle“In Lewycka’s hands, these migrants emerge as dreamers and searchers, and their travels along the U.K.’s economic underbelly leave them wiser if not richer…. As in her bestselling debut A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Lewycka blends satire and slapstick with melancholy realism, creating a big-hearted fable that’s punchier than many a political polemic.” - Bloomberg“Marina Lewycka follows her phenomenally funny A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (nominated for both the Booker and the Orange prizes) with the socially astute, fundamentally satirical Strawberry Fields.… This is a stunning novel…. Strawberry Fields stands along the best of Zadie Smith and Monica Ali. It is sometimes outrageous, sometimes bawdy and constantly entertaining.” - Seattle Times“All the delightful ingredients of Lewycka’s first novel are here in spades: irreverent and bawdy humour, a wry, yet tender understanding of the workings of the human (and now canine) heart, auto mechanics, and a sobering awareness of how history can shape and break our lives. Linking the trials and tribulations of a pair of star-crossed lovers with the violent effects of runaway capitalism and ruthless globalisation, Strawberry Fields packs a lot of protein beside the sweets it so succulently proffers.” - Janice Kulyk Keefer“U.K.-based Lewycka, a Booker and Orange Prize nominee for 2005’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, follows up with a Chaucer-inspired tale of migrant workers trapped at global capital’s thuggish bottom…. Captivating… Many of the characters are complex and multifaceted…. As a send up of capitalism’s grip on the global everyman, Lewycka’s ensemble novel complements Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan.” - Publisher’s Weekly“[T]he voices are real and strong. Yola, the group’s nattering, overbearing, self-appointed supervisor, is funny and sharply sketched. Letters from Emmanuel, an orphan from Malawi, to his sister, are both amusing—filled with inadvertent double-entendres – and strangely beautiful, written in twisted, Latinate English and marked by genuine wonder and deep religious feeling. Lewycka also skillfully communicates the hopes and yearning of a Ukrainian girl named Irina…” - Los Angeles Times“Readers of Lewycka’s first book will find themselves on familiar terrain…. We are treated to the best malapropisms money can buy, along with some demented soliloquies. It would be wrong to call this broken English—it is merely scuffed, chipped and idiomatically cracked.… The author’s ambition is laudable. So is her skill in creating characters that flirt with ethnic commonplaces and then transcend them.” - Newsday“Extremely funny book.” - Times Literary Supplement“Immensely appealing. All but sings with zest for life … could hardly be more engaging, shrewd and winningly perceptive.” - Sunday Times“Lewycka’s fans won’t be disappointed.” - The Scotsman“A funny, charming, rollicking road trip.” - Observer“A piquant and disturbing read—the fictional equivalent of chocolate laced with chilli.” - Sunday Telegraph