Granta (February 2017)
Greywolf Press (September 2017)
‘The literature of place is crying out for a talent as magical, brilliant and original as Kapka Kassabova's. She writes with taut intelligence and poetic intensity, a shrew and grown-up worldliness and rapt sense of all that isn't in the world. When Border arrived in my life, I felt as if I'd been struck by lightning.’
‘In Kassabova’s study, these tragic borderlands are brought to life with poetic grace, and her interaction with their inhabitants confers a haunting power on her journey.’
‘This book hums with the mystery, superstition, and terrible beauty of a place crushed between man-made borders but also defiantly announcing its sacred otherness. I can’t stop thinking about it’
Frances Stonor Saunders
“Remarkable: a book about borders that makes the reader feel sumptuously free. An effect achieved by the way she moves between literary borders so gracefully: travelogue and existential drama; political history and poetry.”
‘An exquisitely crafted blending of travelogue, memoir, dance history and some seriously good writing on the human condition, it delves deep into the obsessive nature of tango and vividly depicts a world full of beauty and heartbreak, love and loss.’
'The exoticism here is reminiscent of Somerset Maugham's Borneo Stories and the quasi-hallucinogenic experiences of Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky.'
Translated into English by Kapka Kassabova.
Absurd, painfully funny and deeply sad, Circus Bulgaria reaches straight into the cracked heart of post-Communist Europe like no other book before. Drawing on the monsters and myths of Balkan folklore, the brutal reality of the Communist regime, and the dazzling magic of Deyan Enev's imagination, this original and inventive collection of stories has a surreal, hypnotic quality.'
"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."
Winner of 2000 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book in South-East Asia and Pacific region Short-listed for 1999 Montana Book Awards Deutz Medal for Best Book of Fiction.
Penguin NZ 1999