A Novel
Orig. Finnish pub. 08/2016
English pub. 04/2019
Available in Finnish, English, Swedish, Norwegian.
Soon available in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Croatian.


“Crossing will devour you; this is some fierce, dazzling, and heartbreaking shit.”
NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names

“Reading Pajtim Statovci’s fiction is like entering a lucid dream: life and death intertwines in an intimate dance; the nostalgia for the past is akin to the nostalgia for the future. Crossing is a novel that dazzles and mesmerizes, and the reader, upon finishing, may have the extraordinary sensation that his or her own dreams have been scattered along the journey, beckoning for rereading. ”
— Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End

“Anyone who has ever known what it’s like to leave home in pursuit of happiness and belonging will most likely love this tender, beautiful novel as much as I did.”
— Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers

“Everything, and I mean everything, is threatened with devastation and loss, but Pajtim Statovci’s prose, the quality of his seeing and remembering, promises to save an invaluable part for all of us.”
Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana

A stunning, incandescent novel that speaks to identity, war, exile, love, betrayal, and heartbreak

The death of Enver Hoxha and the loss of his father leave Bujar growing up in the ruins of Communist Albania and of his own family. Only his fearless best friend Agim–who is facing his own realizations about his gender and sexuality–gives him hope for the future. Together the two decide to leave everything behind and try their luck in Italy. But the struggle to feel at home–in a foreign country and even in one’s own body–will have corrosive effects, spurring a dangerous search for new identities.

Steeped in a rich heritage of bewitching Albanian myth and legend, this is a deeply timely, deeply necessary novel about the broken reality for millions worldwide; about identity in all its complex permutations, and the human need to be seen.

Find on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Bookdepository, Adlibris, Books-a-Million,Goodreads.

International Praise

“[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

“This intense and captivating book … [offers] a strong character study and a larger look at society … An excellent and evocative novel about intersection of migration and gender.”
Library Journal *Starred Review*, US

“…sad and searching … Statovci uses no magic-realist elements here, and with its stark language, unanswered questions, and unrelenting heartbreak, this may be the more poignant of his powerful novels.”
Booklist, US

“…disorienting but affecting … [a] shocking conclusion … The matter-of-fact depiction of numerous traumas intensifies the impact. Statovci memorably portrays the struggles and dislocations of his complicated characters.”
Publisher’s Weekly, US

“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.”
Talouselämä, Finland

“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

“An ambitious and bold author… the portrayal of Bujar’s father’s illness and death is one of the best I have read both in terms of details and insight in the end: I will never forget what a dead man looks like, that a dead body looks as though nobody has ever lived in it. Think that Pajtim Statovci was 26 years old when he wrote CROSSING and the following: They still cautiously peer over their shoulders as they walk, as though wishing that the past staring back at them was not their own.”
Sydsvenskan, Sweden

“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.”
Demokraatti, Finland

“Pajtim Statovci twists and bends the dilemma of trans from many angles and aspects, often downright concrete but sometimes with a sense of lyrically visionary stringency, an attempt to capture love’s innermost essence beyond all the gender restrictions.” – – “Pajtim Statovci is a young and evidently accomplished author…” – – “It shall be extremely interesting to follow him.”
Aftonbladet, Sweden

“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.”
Aamulehti, Finland

“An eye-opening portrayal of legal injustices, inequality, and lost souls. And of encapsulated love, unbreakable bonds, and the power of myths.”
Viva, Finland

Crossing is a beautiful and tragic novel about pervasive otherness and the subjectivity of truth.”
ET, Finland

“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.”
Parnasso, Finland

Crossing is ferociously earnest, an eminently written story of the troubles in the Balkans, the difficulty of loving, and the right to define oneself.”
Keskisuomalainen, Finland



Tiranan sydän

Tiranas hjerte