by Pajtim Statovci · read October 17, 2021


A bleak novel that I would not recommend reading on the train alone on Sunday evening; Bujar's uprootedness struck me deeply. I particularly enjoyed the incorporation of Albanian myths and folklore.

For what I would understand the least, and what she doesn't yet understand at all, is the nature of desire, the numbness that follows when it's fulfilled. ... That's the worst of it all, when nothing is the way you thought, when you realize you've been living a lie, telling yourself a story... the feeling when you return home and switch off all the lights behind you, pull the curtains across the windows, and can no longer feel the motions of your heart; the feeling that you would give everything away to go back to the beginning, to revive your story's origins. Tanja doesn't know there's nothing worse than that.

Julia Cooke © 2024