Border : A Journey to the Edge of Europe
by Kapka Kassabova
Editor: GRANTA BOOKS
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Winner of the 2017 Sautoir at the Scottish Society Book of the Year 2017Winner of the Non-Fiction Society Necklace Book of the Year 2017Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Award for the 2017 Non-FictionShortlisted for the Gordon Brûler Award 2017When Kapka Kassabova was a child, the borderzone between Bulgaria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.On vacation near the border on the Black Sea coast, she remembers playing on the beach, only miles from where an electric fence, spiky, its arrows pointing inward towards the enemy: the holidaymakers, the potential escapeesToday, this densely wooded landscape is more heavily militarized, but it is marked by its pastOn the Bordering, Kapka Kassabova sets out a journey to meet the inhabitants of this triple border – Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, and the last wave of refugees fleeing the conflict beyondShe discovers a region that was formed by the succession of the forces of history: by its own past crises linked to migration, by communism, by the two world wars, by the Ottoman Empire, and even more by the ancient heritage of myths and legends.As Kapka Kassabova explores this enigmatic region in the company of border guards and treasure hunters, entrepreneurs and botanists, psychic healers and ritual firewalkers, refugees and smugglers, she has physical and psychological traces of the borders that criss-cross the villages and mountains, and goes in search of the history that can be discoveredThe border is clearly observed portrait of a little known corner of Europe, and a fascinating meditation on the borders that exist between countries, between cultures, between people, and within each of us.
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