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Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe


Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe

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    Available in PDF Format | Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe.pdf | English
    Kapka Kassabova(Author)

"Remarkable: a book about borders that makes the reader feel sumptuously free." --Peter Pomerantsev

In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the "Red Riviera" on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy: the citizens of the totalitarian regime.

Kassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history: the Soviet and Ottoman empires, and, older still, myth and legend. Her exquisite portraits of fire walkers, smugglers, treasure hunters, botanists, and border guards populate the book. There are also the ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Iraq. But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too: This densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs, and the tug of the ancient world, of circular time and animism, is never far off.

Border is a scintillating, immersive travel narrative that is also a shadow history of the Cold War, a sideways look at the migration crisis troubling Europe, and a deep, witchy descent into interior and exterior geographies.

"This is an exceptional book, a tale of travelling and listening closely, and it brings something altogether new to the mounting literature on the story of modern migration. . . . [At a moment] when asylum-seekers are adrift from one end of the world to theother, Border makes for timely reading."--New Statesman (UK)

3.2 (4977)
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Book details

  • PDF | 379 pages
  • Kapka Kassabova(Author)
  • Graywolf Press (5 Sept. 2017)
  • English
  • 3
  • Travel & Holiday
Read online or download a free book: Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe

Review Text

  • By SD on 1 September 2017

    well written, interesting and informative book about a part of the world which is perhaps less known to many.

  • By cynewulf on 9 April 2017

    As students, a friend and I drove in an old Mini to Istanbul and back in 1972. Came into Bulgaria from the Romanian Black Sea coast, then down the Red Riviera and into Turkey. So Akhtopol, Micurin, Nessebar, Malko Trnovo, Lulegurgaz, Kirklareli are names I remember well. Going into Turkey was interesting : miles and miles of nothingness on the Bulgarian road apart from an occasional sentry popping out of the bushes with a metal 'lollipop' stop sign. The road had only been opened relatively recently and I think we saw only one small sign to Istanbul. People on both sides were very friendly. Then back via Greece (Kavala, Alexandropoulis, Thessalonika - where I found out my degree result !) and northwards into Yugoslavia. So I read this with a great degree of interest. At times I found it gripping, at other times tedious - especially the homespun philosophy. Luckily it is structured into short sections, so one is not having to plough through long, dense chapters. Overall I'd recommend reading it, but it's a long slog.

  • By Guest on 11 June 2017

    If you've read Kapka Kassabova's previous book about growing up in Communist Bulgaria in the 80's, you'll know what makes her tick. If you haven't read that book, (Street With No Name) then I strongly recommend it to you, but it's not necessary to read that as a prequel to this.As Kapka touched upon her travels on the border in her previous book, I thought that maybe it there would be a large amount of print that I'd read before, this is simply not the case. I would say that this is not some twee travel book trying to sell the 'nice' face of Bulgaria - she tells it like it is - and this appears to upset some people who would rather bury the very real and not too happy recent past of this region.An excellent insight into a border area that has hardly been heard of in the West and understood even less.

  • By John M Ross on 15 June 2017

    I found this book absolutely fascinating. I knew where Europe was and where Asia was but had never before really thought of where they met. This book really opened my eyes with a series of fascinating vignettes about the people who occupy both sides of this volatile border. At times depressing but always showing that we humans make the best of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. A very good read and one I will remember for some time to come.

  • By Janis Jefferies on 1 May 2017

    Terrific research, profoundly moving and a challenging, informative read

  • By . Keith. Levck on 19 March 2017

    an excellent account of travels and encounters in a corner of Europe, once ancient Thrace, divided by borders between Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. Includes ethnic cleansing, the Cold War and the present.

  • By jaappe on 25 July 2017

    nice book good price quick delivery

  • By JSchroif on 20 March 2017

    So far an interesting book, easy to follow; a collection of stories set in a historically rich region

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