Street Without A Name | Granta

  • Published: 02/02/2009
  • ISBN: 9781846271243
  • 129x20mm
  • 352 pages

Street Without A Name

Kapka Kassabova

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

Jan Morris

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

Clive James

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

Pico Iyer

The Author

KAPKA KASSABOVA is a poet, novelist and writer of narrative non-fiction. She grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria, and now lives in the Scottish Highlands. Her acclaimed memoirs Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria (2008) and Twelve Minutes of Love: A Tango Story (2011) were followed by Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (2017) which won the British Academy’s Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year, the Edward Stanford-Dolman Travel Book of the Year, and the inaugural Highlands Book Prize. It was short-listed for the Baillie-Gifford Prize, the Bread and Roses Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Awards (USA), and the Gordon Burn Prize. Her new book is To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace (2020). She has written for the Guardian, Vogue, and 1843 magazine. kapka-kassabova.net

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Kapka Kassabova on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta 151

The Lake

Kapka Kassabova

‘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.

Essays & Memoir | Granta 151

The Magic Place

Kapka Kassabova

‘My arrival in Edinburgh seven years ago was almost a blind date.’