Online Nordic Book Club—Bolla by Pajtim Statovci
Where: Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America
58 Park Ave.
212-779-3587 Price: Free
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Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of our Nordic Book Club, now online! Each month we select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. Discussions have typically taken place the last Tuesday of the month at Scandinavia House but will now be taking place bi-weekly as an online meeting.
Book club participants will all appear online at the start of the meeting when they log in so that they are able to take part in the conversation.
On September 7, we’ll be discussing the new novel Bolla by Finnish-Kosovan author Pajtim Statovci, out 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 when he meets Miloš, a Serb. Within a week two milestones erupt in Arsim’s married life: his wife announces her first pregnancy and he begins a life in secret, conducting an unlikely affair that is soon derailed by the outbreak of war. As Arsim’s fledgling family goes abroad, timid Miloš spirals 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?
With luminous prose and a delicate eye, Pajtim Statovci delivers a relentless novel of desire, destruction, intimacy, and the different fronts of war.