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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?
A pitch perfect excavation of the vandalism of war, the wounds of love and the limits of the human soul.
'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.'
'Devastating in the most beautiful ways. From the first pages you realize that you are in the hands of an absolute artist.'
'The world would be a poorer place without Bolla. I dare you not to be moved by it.'
'An unflinching consideration of the long aftereffects of an affair cut short.'
'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.'
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‘A cerebral and haunting ghost story … Highly recommended.’ David Mitchell