CROSSING / “TIRANAN SYDÄN”
Orig. Finnish pub. 08/2016
English pub. 04/2019
Available in Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian.
Soon available in English, French, German, Italian, Croatian.
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. Crossing 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.
“Pajtim Statovci’s second novel exceeds all expectations. /…/ Crossing is a fantastic novel, at once incredibly tragic and highly critical. Statovci addresses problems and deep emotions. The novel draws you in and never ceases to thrill, the narrative is beautifully rhythmical, both soft and beating at times.”
Turun Sanomat, Finland
“Crossing stirringly describes how cruel and brutal life can often be. /…/ The narrative is skilful and ethereal. This novel is an entertaining and captivating piece of art. Born in 1990, Pajtim Statovci writes world-class literature.”
“Tirana’s pulse beats in the novel, in all its darkness and in the most vivid of fashions. /…/ The novel’s journey ends in Tirana, and with a confrontation with the past that gives the work even further depth. Statovci is again at his best.”
Helsingin Sanomat, Finland
“Pajtim Statovci’s debut novel My Cat Yugoslavia was an instant success, and his second novel, Crossing, is again a work of quality. /…/ It has everything a truly great novel should have along with a vision and a point of view that leaves room for interpretation.”
Suomen Kuvalehti, Finland
“When talking about Statovci, one can only admire the depth and clarity of his thoughts, how skillfully he composes his sentences and how astonishingly well he writes about something so beyond his young age, such as death. /…/ When I finally found something to compare Pajtim Statovci’s magnificent new novel to, it was L’Étranger by Albert Camus, of course.”
Kainuun Sanomat, Finland
“The best-selling author’s second novel is a home run. Crossing is just as impressive as the award-winning debut novel. /…/ [Crossing is] a tragic and heartfelt novel that shows just how wisely and originally Statovci writes about big themes, such as nationalism, gender and shame.”
Me Naiset, Finland
“Pajtim Statovci’s second novel is outstanding. /…/ Pajtim Statovci’s prose is of international standard, and when reading his second novel [Crossing] you simply can’t question why publishers around the world are interested in his work.”
“Wisdom flows from between the lines, maybe even some answers. /…/ Even though the story of an endless wanderer is dark, a statement of modern day Finland, it inevitably directs the reader’s point of view to history and what it means to be a European.”
“An eye-opening portrayal of legal injustices, inequality, and lost souls. And of encapsulated love, unbreakable bonds, and the power of myths.”
“Crossing is a beautiful and tragic novel about pervasive otherness and the subjectivity of truth.”
“As was the case with Pajtim Statovci’s debut novel, one can only admire the writer’s ability to form perfect sentences when reading Crossing. /…/ The young author’s storytelling is fluent and flows. The places he will go!”
Le Monde Diplomatique, Finland
“Even at the end awaits a twist that sheds new light. Crossing is a great and powerful novel that will bring the reader to a halt. Not least with its very topicality.”
“Crossing is ferociously earnest, an eminently written story of the troubles in the Balkans, the difficulty of loving, and the right to define oneself.”