Author(s): Kapka Kassabova
After years on the outside, Bulgaria has finally made it into the EU club, but beyond the cliches about undrinkable plonk, cheap property, and assassins with poison-tipped umbrellas, the country remains a largely unknown quantity. Born on the muddy outskirts of Sofia, Kapka Kassabova grew up under Communism, got away just as soon as she could, and has loved and hated her homeland in equal measure ever since. In this illuminating and entertaining memoir, Kapka revisits Bulgaria and her own muddled relationship to it, travelling back to the scenes of her childhood, sampling its bizarre tourist sites, uncovering its centuries' old history of bloodshed and blurred borders, and capturing the absurdities and idiosyncrasies of her own and her country's past.
'A fascinating book - at once evocative, disturbing, and chock-a-block full of charm.' Jan Morris 'A unique memoir of what it was like to grow up in a Communist satellite country. In the mosaic of books about the bad old days, this book is the piece that was always missing. Now we have it, and it shines.' Clive James 'Not many books on the travel shelves have the force of revelation, but this one does - Kapka Kassabova leads us into a country most of us have hardly read about with an elegant assurance, an acid wit and a heart-rending precision that can make you see the world quite differently. This book is a treasure.' Pico Iyer
KAPKA KASSABOVA was born in Bulgaria in 1973 and learned to speak English at the age of 16 when her parents emigrated to England and then New Zealand. She now lives in Edinburgh, and is the author of two novels, four poetry collections (the latest, Geography for the Lost, published by Bloodaxe in April 2007) and a couple of travel guides. www.kapka-kassabova.com