Pajtim Statovci, the acclaimed author of My Cat Yugoslavia, joins us to discuss Crossing, a new novel that speaks to identity, war, exile, love, betrayal, and heartbreak. Following the death of Enver Hoxha as well as the loss of his own father, Bujar is left growing up in the ruins of Communist Albania. Only his fearless best friend Agim–who is facing his own realizations about his gender and sexuality–gives him hope for the future. Together the two decide to leave everything behind and try their luck in Italy. But the struggle to feel at home–in a foreign country and even in one’s own body–will have corrosive effects, spurring a dangerous search for new identities.
Steeped in a rich heritage of bewitching Albanian myth and legend, this is a deeply timely, deeply necessary novel about the broken reality for millions worldwide, identity in all its complex permutations, and the human need to be seen.
Poet and translator Matthew Dix will moderate the discussion. Following the book talk, copies will be available for purchase and signing.
Presented in support by FILI (Finnish Literature Exchange) and the Albanian Institute New York.