- Published: 02/02/2009
- ISBN: 9781846271243
- 352 pages
Street Without A Name
After years on the outside, Bulgaria has finally made it into the EU club in 2007, but beyond the cliches about undrinkable wine, cheap property and assassins with poison-tipped umbrellas, the country remains a largely unknown quantity. Born on the muddy outskirts of Sofia, Kapka Kassabova grew up under Communism, got away just as soon as she could, and has loved and hated her homeland in equal measure ever since. In this illuminating and entertaining memoir, Kapka revisits Bulgaria and her own muddled relationship to it, travelling back to the scenes of her childhood, sampling its bizarre tourist sites, uncovering its centuries-old history of bloodshed and blurred borders, and capturing the absurdities and idiosyncrasies of her own and her country’s past.
A fascinating book - at once evocative, disturbing and chock-a-block full of charm
A unique memoir of what it was like to grow up in a Communist satellite country. In the mosaic of books about the bad old days, this book is the piece that was always missing. Now we have it, and it shines
Not many books on the travel shelves have the force of revelation, but this one does ... Kapka Kassabova leads us into a country most of us have hardly read about with an elegant assurance, an acid wit and a heart-rending precision that can make you see the world quite differently. This book is a treasure
From the Same Author
Twelve Minutes of Love
To the Lake
Kapka Kassabova on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | Granta 157
The Ninth Spring: One Day at the Kolibi
Kapka Kassabova visits the Osmanovi family in the southern Balkans.
Essays & Memoir | Granta 151
‘The chalky mountain separates the lake from its higher, non-identical twin, but only overground. Underground, they are connected. Ohrid and Prespa: two lakes, one ecosystem.’
In Conversation | Granta 151
Edinburgh Book Festival Special | Podcast
Kapka Kassabova & Peter Stamm
In this special Edinburgh Book Festival edition of the Granta Podcast Laura Barber talks to Kapka Kassabova (Street Without a Name, Twelve Minutes of Love) and Peter Stamm (Seven Years) about the often paradoxical relationship between writing and place.