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Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe de…
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Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (2017 original; edició 2017)

de Kapka Kassabova (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
21210100,622 (4.14)37
"In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the "Red Riviera" on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy: the citizens of the totalitarian regime. Kassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history: the Soviet and Ottoman empires, and, older still, myth and legend. Her exquisite portraits of fire walkers, smugglers, treasure hunters, botanists, and border guards populate the book. There are also the ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Iraq. But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too: This densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs, and the tug of the ancient world, of circular time and animism, is never far off."--Amazon.com.… (més)
Membre:mindbat
Títol:Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe
Autors:Kapka Kassabova (Autor)
Informació:Graywolf Press (2017), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:to-read, imported

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Border : a journey to the edge of Europe de Kapka Kassabova (2017)

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Read 2020. ( )
  sasameyuki | Apr 28, 2021 |
Kapka Kassabova now lives in Scotland and before that resided in New Zealand, but she was not born in these places. Twenty-five years ago she left Bulgaria as a teenager and in this book she returns to her home country. In her childhood, the border between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece was part of the Iron Curtain. A few miles from where she played on the beach was the physical barrier, an electric fence whose sharpest barbs were directed at the real enemy; its own people. It had the reputation of being an easier point to cross over to the West than further North and therefore the woods and valleys crawled with soldiers and spies after those people seeking freedom.

The recent past is just a small part of the long history of this region. Kassabova travels around the region talking to border guards, fire walkers and treasure hunters as well as meeting the disposed and displaced who have made their way from Iraq and Syria. These refugees have walked away from the horrors of war with only the clothes on their back in search of freedom and a new life. There is much more to this landscape that the modern borders sit uncomfortably on top of. Peeling back the layers of past in the dense forests, she travels to springs that have deep pagan roots and are still considered to have healing qualities and visits tombs that add an ancient dimension to the land.

'It is not for everyone', Nevzat agreed, but I could see that he loved these villages. He and Mr Karadeniz resonated with the ruinous beauty of this landscape. Because they were its children.

This book is primarily about people of the region as well as the places they inhabit. Kassabova meets and speaks to the people in villages who are seeing their populations plummet and the buildings crumble around them. However, this is not just about those that live in the region; but she is prepared to share a coffee or a meal with those that are waiting before passing through to other places, shining a light on the current refugee crisis that is prompting the rise of nationalism in Europe. Most impressive though is Kassabova’s writing; it is elegant and lyrical with a beautiful haunting melancholy about it, immersing you, the reader, in the landscape. Just, quite a wonderful book really. 4.5 stars ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Incohesive. Biased. Dull.

Throughout this book, we are taking from person to person, all of which at some point you find linked back to some other story, but presented in such a way as to make it impossible to place who was who and where.

The author fills the sparse interviews with conjecture and romanticism based on what she wants to believe, not what is actually being said.

And she is, quite simply, a dull writer. I finished this book only because it was a book club selection. Never was there a time when I actually looked forward to reading more of it ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
Part travel memoir, part mediation on borders, Kassabova's book is an exploration of the people, geography, and history of the borders between Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria. This is well written and the material is well presented, but I never quite settled into it. While Kassabova does explore history further back than the Cold War and does discuss the geography of the place, I was hoping for something that was more evenly balanced. This felt Cold War, Cold War, Cold War, to me, and that is not a criticism as such but rather just the reason *I* got impatient with it. It was also far more unsettling than I was in a place to sit with right now. I probably would have enjoyed the book more at a different time.

I read this with my book club, and the other members all liked it much more than I did, some very much. So YMMV considerably. ( )
  lycomayflower | Mar 9, 2019 |
Let me start out by saying that I absolutely loved this book. Ms. Kassabova is a staggeringly talented narrative storyteller, and her account of the history and happenings in the Bulgarian/Greek/Turkish area are informative and interesting. Her cast of locals with whom she travels and gets to know add much to the texture and depth of her book, which is well worth your time and attention. I'm pretty sure that I blew through it in three days of solid reading, as once I jumped in, I just made coffee and kept reading. ( )
  BLyda97112 | Jan 23, 2019 |
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"In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the "Red Riviera" on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy: the citizens of the totalitarian regime. Kassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history: the Soviet and Ottoman empires, and, older still, myth and legend. Her exquisite portraits of fire walkers, smugglers, treasure hunters, botanists, and border guards populate the book. There are also the ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Iraq. But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too: This densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs, and the tug of the ancient world, of circular time and animism, is never far off."--Amazon.com.

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