Thursday, July 24, 2008

A book you have to read

I reviewed it on National Radio yesterday morning and on my bookshop's blog last week. Neither review really does it justice as there are so many wonderful threads in this book.

You'll just have to buy it to see for yourself.

What's especially wonderful about a radio review is the way a reviewer can read some of the book and hope people will be pulled in by the narrative or the quality of the prose or poetry.

I read a marvellous scene yesterday where Kapka's mother breaks down in the pristine toilets at a Dutch university, realising suddenly what the West has that Bulgaria -- labouring then under Socialism with a Human Face and with toilets that reflected the ugliness at the core of Bulgarian lives -- did not.

Kapka writes exquisitely in English and this travel memoir is a real treat -- as a revelation of her life as a Bulgarian, and of the history of her identity-challenged homeland to the north of Greece.

Here's the link again for the radio review (the book reviews are on at 10.30 ). Published by Penguin, the book costs $28.

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