A powerful and symbolic novel of unattainable love and the wars that never end.
In the devastation of post-Communist Albania, life is akin to imprisonment for the inseparable young friends Bujar and Agim. While Bujar struggles to come to terms with the loss of his father, Agim is facing new realizations about his gender, sexuality, and feelings for Bujar.
Shame, guilt, and the ruins of Enver Hoxha’s authoritarianism push Bujar and Akim to leave everything behind and flee to Italy. But the unfamiliar new life of an immigrant and asylum seeker caught in a foreign country, language, and even body, begins to seem like nothing more than a dead end. The burning desire to be seen and heard spurs a desperate search for another story, another nationality, another past. A different self to be seized at any cost.
Pajtim Statovci’s highly topical second novel immerses the reader in a refugee’s fragile state of mind and the broken reality of millions today. Heartlines is stunningly beautiful, rich both in prose and tone, a powerful and symbolic novel of unattainable love and the wars that never end. But most of all, of the lies that give stories their power.
'Crossing' will be out with Panthenon Books (US) in April and Pushkin Press (UK) in May 2019.
Croatian (VBZ), English (Pantheon Books/US, Pushkin Press/UK), French (Buchet Chastel), German (btb), Italian (Sellerio), Norwegian (Gyldendal), Swedish (Norstedst), World Spanish (Alianza)
"Statovci's literary gifts are prodigious. His sentences are lean and precise. He defies expectations, denies explanation, and excels at the most difficult aspect of storytelling: building a complex humanity for even his most deplorable characters."
— The New York Times Book Review, US
“[A] story told with great sensitivity and empathy, highlighting Statovci’s development as a leading voice in modern European literature.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review),US
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review), US
Pajtim Statovci (b. 1990) moved from Kosovo to Finland with his family when he was two years old. His debut novel, My Cat Yugoslavia, received unrivaled acclaim among international critics and readers, and won Statovci the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for ‘Best Debut’. The jury praised the 24-year-old author’s ability to combine the dreamlike with the realistic, and give old symbols new meaning and power.