Bolla By Pajtim Statovci – Virtual Book Talk
Where: Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America
58 Park Ave.
212-779-3587 Price: Free
Buy tickets/get more info now
See other events in these categories:
On July 20 at 7 PM ET, join us for a pre-recorded book talk with Finnish-Kosovan author Pajtim Statovci (National Book Award finalist, Crossing) on his new novel Bolla. With moderator Bethanne Patrick, he’ll discuss the writing of the novel, available on July 6 in translation by David Hackston from Pantheon.
An unlikely love story in Kosovo with unpredictable consequences that reverberates throughout a young man’s life, Bolla is a dazzling tale full of fury, tenderness, longing, and lust. In April 1995, Arsim is a 24-year-old, recently married student at the University of Pristina, keeping his head down to gain a university degree in a time and place deeply hostile to Albanians. In a café he meets a young man named Miloš, a Serb. Before the day is out, everything has changed for both of them, and within a week two milestones erupt in Arsim’s married life: his wife announces her first pregnancy and he begins a life in secret.
After these fevered beginnings, Arsim and Miloš’s unlikely affair is derailed by the outbreak of war, which sends Arsim’s fledgling family abroad and timid Miloš spiraling down a dark path, as depicted through chaotic journal entries. Years later, deported back to Pristina after a spell in prison and now alone and hopeless, Arsim finds himself in a broken reality that makes him completely question his past. What happened to him, to them, exactly? How much can you endure, and forgive?
Entwined with their story is a re-created legend of a demonic serpent, Bolla — an unearthly tale that gives Arsim and Miloš a language through which to reflect on what they once had. With luminous prose and a delicate eye, Pajtim Statovci delivers a relentless novel of desire, destruction, intimacy, and the different fronts of war.
“Engrossing . . . Statovci lets little sunlight into the narrative, the better to emphasize just how powerful homophobia and self-loathing can be . . . An unflinching consideration of the long aftereffects of an affair cut short”—Kirkus ReviewsBuy tickets/get more info now