Border - Kapka Kassabova

Staff Pick
In tracing the outer geographic limits of Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, Kassabova also explores the rich metaphorical meanings of “border,” starting with her sense of the region as a place where “miracles felt as inevitable as disasters.” Watching the crises of history meet those of the present as Cold War checkpoints are reactivated to handle the flood of Middle Eastern refugees, Kassabova looks back over centuries of expulsions and repatriations, a heritage she is part of. She grew up in Bulgaria and her family emigrated to New Zealand in 1992. Returning to find her roots in this place of uprootings, she says “opened some Pandora’s box in” her psyche, and her search for something deeper than landscapes and curiosities makes her book not just fine travel writing but a compelling personal odyssey, one full of stories in addition to her own. She talked to everyone—easy, perhaps, in villages with populations of seven to thirteen. She notes the stark poverty and lack of services, as well as the thriving folk-culture. People fear the evil eye, respect cursed tombs, see a mysterious ball of fire in the hills. What Kassabova is writing is really nonfiction magic realism—an intriguing crossroads of several literary borders.
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe By Kapka Kassabova Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977863
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Graywolf Press - September 5th, 2017