By Lara Vapnyar
160 pages. Pantheon.
It takes a light hand to create a delicacy, whether culinary or literary. Russian-born Lara Vapnyar, who proved her gravitas with her last collection, There Are Jews in My House, returns with Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love (Pantheon). Her lonely Russian émigrés, men and women living on stringy hopes in Brooklyn or Manhattan, crave the homely seductions of a meatball, the ruby romance of a bowl of borscht. If they (or we) can't live on love, Vapnyar's nostalgic recipes at the end of this tart little book should keep the hunger at bay.