Read free online THE BURNING EDGE: TRAVELS THROUGH IRRADIATED BELARUS (English Edition) young adult

Kindle Border A Journey to the Edge of Europe Epub ¼ A ☆

In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria from where she emigrated as a girl twenty five years previously to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece When she was a child the border zone was rud to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall and it swarmed with soldiers and spies On holidays in the “Red Riviera” on the Black Sea she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy the citizens of the totalitarian regimeKassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history the Soviet and Ottoman empires and older still myth and legend Her exuisite portraits of fire walkers smugglers treasure hunters botanists and border guards populate the book There are also the ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Ira But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too This densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs and the tug of the ancient world of circular time and animism is never far off Border is a scintillating immersive travel narrative that is also a shadow history of the Cold War a sideways look at the migration crisis troubling Europe and a deep witchy descent into interior and exterior geographies

10 thoughts on “Border A Journey to the Edge of Europe

  1. says:

    After emigrating from Bulgaria the author returns after an absence of twenty five years Implicitly to the borders where Bulgaria Turkey and Greece come together This book explains what she foundThought she did an amazing job mixing culture with history and current affairs Fire cult the Greek Orthodox Church Spartacus and the Thracians bean readers Great descriptions of the natural world and past descriptions of historical significance Life at the borders the violence that ensued when one tries to cross over into another countryAt times it was confusing as much information is covered It was though informative and about region of which I knew littleNarrated by Carrie James and I thought she did well was easy to understand

  2. says:

    Fantastic Kassabova’s writing is personal haunting and intriguing; she weaves history legend politics war family and the day to day of the people in the dense and mountainous Bulgarian Turkish Greek border zone that was once forbidden territory Here empires rose and fell borders shifted people were displaced or renamed and languages suppressed For those of us whose families came from this region it’s recognizable and aching This travelogue is well researched and beautifully written even suspenseful at times Highly recommended They were dressed in sleeveless woollen cardigans baggy trousers and rubber galoshes I felt it like a presence the spirit of the Balkans was here in this garden thick with greenery The true spirit of the Balkans that hangs on no matter how renamed and resettled imagined and invented Our bitter beloved borderless Balkans

  3. says:

    Loooved this Already pre ordered her next book

  4. says:

    BOTWhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb08fdwffDescription When Kapka Kassabova was a child the borderzone between Bulgaria Turkey and Greece was rumoured to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall so it swarmed with soldiers spies and fugitivesOn holidays close to the border on the Black Sea coast she remembers playing on the beach only miles from where an electrified fence bristled its barbs pointing inwards toward the enemy the holiday makers the potential escapeesKapka Kassabova sets out on a journey through a hidden corner of the continent and meets the people of this triple border Bulgarians Turks Greeks indigenous Balkan Muslims and the latest wave of refugees fleeing conflict further afield She discovers a region that has been shaped by the successive forces of history by its own past migration crises by communism by Nazi occupation by the Ottoman Empire and older still by the ancient legacy of myths and legends But there seem to be non human forces at work here too It is a land rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs; home to psychic healers and Europe's last fire worshippersAs Kapka Kassabova explores this enigmatic region in the company of border guards and treasure hunters entrepreneurs and botanists refugees and smugglers she traces the physical and psychological borders that criss cross its villages and mountains and goes in search of the stories that will unlock its secrets this densely forested landscape is no longer heavily militarised but it is scarred by its past

  5. says:

    Kapka Kassabova has given a lot of thought to borders Growing up in Bulgaria her family enjoyed a beach near Turkey very near to where lives were lost attempting to cross the border This book recounts her recent visit to Bulgaria’s border with Turkey and Greece Formerly designed to keep people in Bulgaria’s borders are now designed to keep people outThose attempting to leave iron curtain countries believed the Bulgarian border to be crossable than the others but guards had jobs to do and those who lived along it had special permits which gave the forest eyes A small noise or wrong step would end the fugitive’s dreams of freedom While most died or were captured a small number got through Today the barbed wire is still there but the refugees are mainly Irai’s Kurds and Syrians trying to get into Bulgaria as the gateway to Europe Kassabova describes refugee camps and the waiting men at Ali’s Café The author takes a night time hike with locals who know a dangerous path from Bulgaria to Greece She tours with them again legally through check points through rugged terrain and admits to her freak out She interviews people that live on the “right” or “wrong” side depending on family history and how they cope with the refugees and the lack of work in this area While she describes the beauty and rugged nature of the region the strength of this book is the stories of everyday people There are the people the Strandja forest who have remained after the wars and the industrialization and continue their old tradition of fire walking and prophesy to the strains of accordion drum and bagpipe music There is the German artist who was caught at the border and subjected to inhuman treatment before release There are the people who live forever a forest ranger a lighthouse keeper a gypsy who guards a monastery a nurse who treats the evil eye and I know little of this region so the history was like a stream of sound bites Some of it was pretty dramatic Some People had to change their names 3 times; 40000 Muslims were expelled almost overnight and could drive away but could not ride or take their horses mules or in fact any animals There were pieces of Ottoman and ancient Greek history legend and poetryThere are no photos An index would have been helpful since some people re cur as does the story of the 4 horses

  6. says:

    Non fiction is not something I often read yet when I open such a book I expect it to be valid This book unfortunately isn't I was very excited about it initially because I think the idea to write about that border is brilliant and I expected a lot from it Yet what I found bugs me a lot It feels like she has a message she wants to broadcast rather than a story very much like the state she hates so much and that makes her modify her story to fit the message She makes assumptions about people jumps to conclusions imagines things about them that could not even be true Yet she does it because it fits the story I found that tobe uite hypocriticalThis made me wonder whether a writer should write about their experiences in a way that would allow them to go back to the place and talk to all those people again Or maybe this doesn't matter as long as the book is successful?Another thing is that the whole book seems to be a collection of rumours what someone said to someone what people believed in three hundred years ago I understand it can be interesting to hear about that but Kapka not only presents those opinions and rumours she also claims them She portrays them as valid sources of information And that invalidates the entire bookFinally I believe that the driving force behind writing a book should not be hate I am not a writer and I have no idea about the forces that make people do art but I am convinced that hate doesn't produce a lot Hate radiated from the pages of the book And yes I understand that Kapka hates the establishment hates the Border hates the history about this place Yet I keep wondering if there was anything at all around there that she loved I haven't yet finished the bookUpdate I found one problem with this book And the problem is that the book is not for those from the Eastern Block it's for the people from the other side of the border Maybe it was the initial idea or the fact that the author has spent so much time abroad She doesn't provide the background for the book And this is fair enough it's impossible to explain the entirety of the Eastern culture in a book Yet when the lack of knowledge of culture is combined with Kapka's representation of the most ordinary Eastern European things as something with a hidden meaning and something very dramatic it produces a very weird effect for those who don't come from Bulgaria And I think this biases the opinions of the readers and gives them wrong information This is not the core information but the background And still when the tones of the background are changed it changes the whole perception of the book

  7. says:

    This is a beautiful and evocative meditation on real and imagined borders I was completely transfixed by the writing in this book The author is a wordsmith She weaves together the mythical and mundane in an amazing and surreal way The main premise of this book revolves around the author returning back to Bulgaria after emigrating twenty five years ago Her aim is to explore the border that Bulgaria shares with Turkey and Greece I appreciated how the author combines history mysticism and spirituality with the true accounts of the individuals living near and around the bordered regions These accounts are told in a respectful and honest manner In between the different chapters the author provides a Bulgarian word with a definition This enhanced the reading experience for me as it emphasized the importance of place and nature that is evident throughout the narrativeI highly recommend this book

  8. says:

    Kassabova offers a well balanced menu of travel history autobiography politics and reflections mostly conveyed through stories and conversations She weaves back and forth in time describing both peoples who have lived in one place for centuries and those who have been uprooted repeatedly often multiple times in one generation Her own family left Bulgaria in the early 1990s Kassabova offers her childhood memories of a border that was off limits to Soviet state citizens and compares them with the experiences of the few who actually lived in the border forests or worked there as guards or were caught trying to escape across the border There are plenty of details about the fate of those who were caught Eventually she crosses into Greece and Turkey and explores the border from the longer perspective of those who were displaced earlier in the century during the Greek and Turkish repatriations And she seeks out the stories of Syrians who are fleeing in the opposite direction now trying to get into Bulgaria from Turkey and GreeceKassabova is able to convey the feel of the forest and small village life far from 2010s Europe She also writes enough about strange events to persuade you that there may be things that don’t conform to science and common sense in the deep dark forest I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with her and the warm people who offered her traditional hospitality And very appreciative again of my easy life

  9. says:

    It's an uncanny sensation that I share with other people from my generation who grew up in the last years of the communist regime in Bulgaria and the first years of the much coveted and still utterly bitter democracy that followed Books like that speak to us and we feel as if they could be portraying our own experiences from that era They are sweet and nostalgic sad and soul crushing bitter and moving deeply realistic and strangely fairy tale like Kapka's style is mesmerizing and her stories will haunt me for they uncovered some aspects of our common history that even though we all were vaguely aware of we didn't actually know KNOW them I hate to see history repeat itself again nowadays The Balkans sure love their eternal seesaw game and seem unable to learn from the mistakes of the pastAnyways it's a deeply poetic and moving book Read itPS I only wish that Bulgarian writers made that extra effort to choose better narrators for their work It was unbearably annoying to hear all those mispronunciations even of the simplest words like our capital's name while other supposedly bulgarianturkishgreek words were virtually unrecognizable when butchered in the narrator's mouth

  10. says:

    Whenever you read a book about something you're familiar with whether it's about a city you lived in an event you experienced a place you vacation in regularly you are bound to disagree with the author about something In this case I found myself frantically highlighting and underlining bits of the book that struck me as inaccurate My husband can attest to the many exasperated sighs and groans that came out of me during my excruciating read of this book A bit of context this book is about the author a Bulgarian woman who grew up in New Zealand crossing the Border between Turkey Bulgaria and Greece and writing about her experiences in this 'mythical' part of the Balkans As someone who has crossed the Border between Bulgaria and Turkey and that between Turkey and Greece an average of 10 times a year over a period of 15 years if not longer I found most of the things she wrote about to be either painfully wrong or annoying at best As a Bulgarian who also grew up outside of Bulgaria the theme of not really belonging in Bulgaria was probably the only part of the book I could identify with Some highlights of the things that bugged me include not knowing the difference between a 'zmei' and 'lamya' two different mythical creatures in Bulgarian folklore tales changing the names of the villages and places she visited even though it's meant to be a documentation of her experiences by removing the names of the places she visits there is no way for me to connect or imagine where she's been and removes the authenticity of her travels in my opinion there is a lot of anger towards Communist Bulgaria from her and she projects that onto her experiences that's not really what this book is meant to be about she projects her distrust of people into the book I mean she goes to a village can't remember where sleeps there and then gets in a car with someone but then thinks they will murder her and leaves I just no Just no the Turkish Bulgarian and Greek dialects represented in the book made me cringe I don't know of anyone who speaks or is meant to sound like that Yes I also don't know everyone and I am willing to acknowledge that there might be people who do sound like that I noted that down as a translation error but realised it's not a translated bookNow as a Bulgarian I am extremely pleased to see a Bulgarian writer write a book about some of my experiences as a Bulgarian growing up abroad someone crossing a border so many times of a region I call home but aghr It just wasn't right It felt at many times that she had no authority or no experience of those places to be able to write about it with umph Either way I would read her next book and I'd be curious to see where her writing career goes But this book was a NO from meUPDATE I realised another problem too she is from Sofiya and that's where she grew up before moving to the West and then goes to the Border region which is MILES away from Sofiya had she written about the border between MacedoniaSerbiaBulgaria which is practically next door to Sofiya I don't think it would have irked me so much