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Pajtim Statovci
Translated by David Hackston

The internationally award-winning novel of passion, war, migration — and a destructive forbidden attraction between two men.

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It is April, 1995.

Kosovo is a country on the cusp of a dreadful war. Arsim is twenty-two, newly married, cautious – an Albanian trying to keep his head down and finish his studies in an atmosphere of creeping threat. Until he encounters Milos, a Serb, and begins a life in secret.

Bolla is the story of what happens when passion and history collide – when a relationship, already forbidden and laced with danger, is ripped apart by war and migration, separated by nations and fate.

What happens when you are forced to live a life that is not yours, so far from your desires?

Can the human remain?

Critic Reviews

A pitch perfect excavation of the vandalism of war, the wounds of love and the limits of the human soul.

Critic Reviews

'Bolla sweeps from sublime heights to devastating lows, blending mythology with madness in a vivid portrait of a man crushed in a trap of domesticity and convention. A story of love, loss, alienation and rebirth, Bolla captures something utterly human. I loved it.'

Natasha Brown
Critic Reviews

'Devastating in the most beautiful ways. From the first pages you realize that you are in the hands of an absolute artist.'

Critic Reviews

'The world would be a poorer place without Bolla. I dare you not to be moved by it.'

Tomasz Jedrowski, author of Swimming in the Dark
Critic Reviews

'An unflinching consideration of the long aftereffects of an affair cut short.'

Kirkus Reviews (starred)
Critic Reviews

'Bolla is a haunting, lyrical meditation on loss that manages, through the alchemy of Statovci’s impeccable writing, to be a surprisingly hopeful book. There is also in these pages a deeply humane lens which asks the reader to understand and identify with the mistakes we often make as flawed humans. I loved this book for its deep, burning wisdom, and will return to it again and again.'

Gerrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

PAJTIM STATOVCI was born in Kosovo to Albanian parents in 1990. His family fled the Yugoslav wars and moved to Finland when he was two years old. He holds an MA in comparative literature and is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki. His first book, My Cat Yugoslavia, won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for best debut novel;…

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