Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgariaby Kapka Kassabova
Kassabova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up under the drab, muddy, grey mantle of one of communism’s most mindlessly authoritarian regimes. Escaping with her family as soon as possible after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, she lived in Britain, New Zealand, and Argentina, and several other places. But when Bulgaria was formally inducted to the
Kassabova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up under the drab, muddy, grey mantle of one of communism’s most mindlessly authoritarian regimes. Escaping with her family as soon as possible after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, she lived in Britain, New Zealand, and Argentina, and several other places. But when Bulgaria was formally inducted to the European Union she decided it was time to return to the home she had spent most of her life trying to escape. What she found was a country languishing under the strain of transition. This two-part memoir of Kapka’s childhood and return explains life on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
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Bulgaria is an alien land to most of us-we might visit it someday, but we wouldn't want to live there. In the 1970s and 1980s when poet Kassabova was growing up, Bulgaria was grimly Communist. Her delightful and insightful book is an elegiac paean to a country she couldn't wait to leave but now can't get out of her head. The wonder is that individuality survived at all during those stifling years of government-enforced mediocrity, but it did, as is abundantly clear in Kassabova's vivid descriptions of family, friends, and teachers. Years later, she went back for a visit. Much had changed, but more had not. Manufactured goods were still scarce or nonexistent; service was given begrudgingly or not at all. Old towns had been bulldozed to erect shoddy townhouses, and the Bulgarians still hated the Turks. Kassabova's readers will learn much about a country they generally don't even think about, sometimes laughing out loud and sometimes simply stopping to reflect. In fact, it's hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't benefit from this lovely book.
- Skyhorse Publishing
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- 6.36(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.21(d)
Meet the Author
Kapka Kassabova was born in Bulgaria in 1973 and learned to speak English at the age of sixteen when her parents emigrated to New Zealand. She spent time in Buenos Aires, Marseille and Berlin, before settling in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is the author of two novels, four poetry collections, and a couple of travel guides.
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