by Pajtim Statovci
Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston
Vintage, April 2019; Pushkin Press, 2019

Bujar is 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, has corrosive effects, spurring a dangerous search for new identities.
Steeped in a rich heritage of Albanian myth and legend, this is a timely, deeply necessary novel about the broken reality of millions worldwide; about identity in all its complex permutations, and the human need to be seen.


Reviews of Crossing:

“[A] story told with great sensitivity and empathy, highlighting Statovci’s development as a leading voice in modern European literature.”- Kirkus (*starred review)

“Statovci’s writing at its best…[has] longing and rage compressed in a single sentence at once sweepingly plangent and rooted in granular detail…” – The New Yorker

“With considerable literary panache, Statovci treads a line between raw tragedy and a more formal aesthetic of abjection bordering on existential horror, in the best European literary-philosophical tradition from Camus to Kafka, Kadare to Kristeva. The sensitivity and poetry of David Hackston’s translation match the original…” – The Guardian

2019 National Book Award Finalist

Winner of the 2020 Oxford-Wiedenfeld Prize for translation



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