BOOK SERIES
The Power of Literature in the Changing World
AUTHOR
Pajtim Statovci

Bolla

TRANSLATOR
Boris Vidović
Description

The novel Bolla by Pajtim Statovci, a Finnish writer of Kosovar origin, is an epic and at the same time lyrical, deeply personal story of love immersed in the "grand history." Like the author's own life marked by inherited trauma, it begins in the Balkans, amidst one of the wars that have lasted for over a quarter of a century, with wounds that are still fresh in some places, blending the collective and the political with the most intimate aspects in an inseparable manner.

The love story at its core is transgressive in every way within its own context: it binds the protagonists with invisible chains that sometimes border on shackles, connecting two students from Pristina - a Serb and a Kosovar - with unfathomable consequences – just before the war, in its whirlwind and aftermath, during a time of scars and wounds. However, this is not a sweet saga of love that transcends gender, national, religious, and other boundaries. Both characters are deeply conditioned by their own past, and their inability to fully surrender to this love will result in two completely different fates, on the edge or at the very heart of crime.

Bolla - a word for a monster from stories and a social outcast - is a portrayal of transitional Kosovo and an emigrant existence in an orderly distant country, a sketch for reproducing deeply rooted stereotypes, and an allegory illuminated by a framework of fairy tale or phantasmagoria, shedding light on the most human aspects within us: in its brightest tones and even more so in its darkest shades.

AUTHOR
Pajtim Statovci

Pajtim Statovci (1990) is one of the most important Finnish writers of the younger generation. Statovci is of Kosovar origin. He studied Comparative Literature at the University of Helsinki, and later pursued Dramaturgy (Screenwriting) at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University. He published his first novel, My Cat Yugoslavia (Kissani Jugoslavia), in 2014, and received the Helsingin Sanomat Prize, the most prestigious Finnish literary award for the best debut novel. His second novel, Heart of Tirana (Tiranan sydän, 2016), was awarded the Toisinkoinen Literary Prize. For his latest novel, Bolla (2019), he received the Finlandia Prize, the most prestigious Finnish literary award, becoming its youngest recipient.

TRANSLATOR
Boris Vidović
Boris Vidović was born in 1961 in Zagreb, and he has spent almost half of his life in Finland. He graduated in Comparative Literature and Philosophy from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, and obtained a master's degree in Literature from the University of Helsinki. He has translated from English and Italian, and currently translates mainly from Finnish. Among his notable translations in the past decade are: Arto Paasilinna, A Charming Mass Suicide (Hurmaava joukkoitsemurha, 2007), Kari Hotakainen, Heart Attacks (Sydänkohtauksia, 2008), Sofi Oksanen, Purge (Puhdistus, 2011), Kari Hotakainen, The Word of God (Jumalan sana, 2014), and Sofi Oksanen, When the Doves Disappeared (Kun kyyhkyset katosivat, 2015).