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Border

A Journey to the Edge of Europe
Kapka Kassabova
In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the “Red Riviera” on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy: the citizens of the totalitarian regime.
            Kassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history: the Soviet and Ottoman empires, and, older still, myth and legend. Her exquisite portraits of fire walkers, smugglers, treasure hunters, botanists, and border guards populate the book. There are also the see ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Iraq. But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too: this densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs, and the tug of the ancient world, of circular time and animism, is never far off.
            Border is a scintillating, immersive travel narrative that is also a shadow history of the Cold War, a sideways look at the migration crisis troubling Europe, and a deep, witchy descent into interior and exterior geographies.

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$16.00
ISBN
978-1-55597-786-3
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
400
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
“Remarkable: a book about borders which makes the reader feel sumptuously free.”—Peter Pomerantsev

About the Author

Kapka  Kassabova
Credit: Marti Friedlander
Kapka Kassabova is the author of Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, three poetry collections, the novel Villa Pacifica, and the acclaimed memoirs Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria and Twelve Minutes of Love: A Tango Story. She lives in Scotland.
 
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Praise

  • Border is that rarest of things: a travel book with a conscience that is also a compendium of wonders.”Los Angeles Review of Books
  • “Rich with a profound sense of the region’s political and cultural history. . . . Kassabova devotes herself to intimate vignettes that sparkle with the dark charm of fairy tales and mystical fables.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • "Border is a reminder that those who cross the borders are not just numbers. They are people, and bearers of stories that deserve to be heard."—The Christian Science Monitor
  • “It’s hard to imagine a more compelling introduction to a virtually unknown region.”Bookforum
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