In my knowledge And the sections devoted to kassabova s country of bulgaria me googling s of Bulgaria had me googling of almost every place she mentions In fact it would be nice if there were a map in this book for easy reference Between Hotel Drustur and the Golden Dobrudzha I have walked exactly five minutes and twenty five yearsAnd et s face it since arriving a few weeks ago I haven t been myself A few weeks alone in the country of your childhood wreaks havoc on your imported adult personality p 302 3 I am going now and I
Know Never To Disturb never to disturb natural The Mad Wolf's Daughter laws of that country where the people we used to be stroll along the faultines of a white cliffed town eating vanilla ice cream in the slightly otherworldly September Hawkes Prey Sonny Hawke Thriller light p 296 1979 was also the year after the assassination by State Security of the dissident writer Georgi Markov in London with a poison tipped umbrella Bulgaria s main claim to fame in theast century if we don t count weightlifters with hairy backs But that year I was preoccupied by a far momentous event the kindergarten summer camp p 24 I d give this book 3 12 starsStreet With No Name is a very interesting and very personal memoir of Kapka Kassabova s childhood in Bulgaria and a travelogue chronicling several return trips to visit relatives and discuss the sights The author appears to have also written a travel guidebook probably during those same trips and this book reads Get Over It Fab Life like a diary of those trips The first part mostly describes her growing up in Sofia discussing herife in school various activities such as the Pioneer groups somewhat similar to the BoyGirl Scouts and contrasting the deprivations of No Prisoners Star Wars The Clone Wars life in socialist Bulgaria with theuxuries of the West brought into sober focus by her parents trips to the Netherlands and a visit by some Dutch colleagues She also discusses her coming of age getting into a French Husband for Hire language high school and her family s eventual exodus to New ZealandThe second half of the book chronicles her trips throughout Bulgaria the chronology is sometimes a bit unclear since there are ateast three trips interwoven some to different regions of Bulgaria and with multiple visits to her aging relatives She covers most of the major regions of Bulgaria and her anecdotes include very vivid slice of An Egg Is Quiet life interactions withocal people highlighting their conditions attitudes and sometimes prejudices While a bit non Cinque indagini romane per Rocco Schiavone (Il vicequestore Rocco Schiavone Vol. 6) linear I felt this part actually captured uite well the odd mixture of nostalgia and disorientation that one gets when revisiting a place that is full of memories from several trips but that has changed dramatically each timeKapka does manage to work in a great many of thearge and small cultural highlights of Bulgaria She discusses most of the major regions has some discussion of food works in many significant historical events of Bulgaria eg the 500 years under the Turks saving its Jews from the Nazis during World War II the forcible renaming of Turks in the mid 80s as well as many cultural details the wedding music of Ivo Papasov pop folkchalgasilicone divas the fear that air currents will make you sick I don t think she managed to work in the one about how women shouldn t sit on concrete because of the fear that their ovaries will freeze however The descriptions of the horrors of public toilets was particularly graphic and not at all exaggerated Similarly the descriptions of maniacal taxi driver speeding and perilous potholes is spot on I personally have flown down Tsarigradsko Shousse in a taxi at over 100 MPH and feared for my Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey life similarlyMy reaction to this book is that it struck me as very Bulgarian in several senses that I shall attempt to explain It is fairly typical for Bulgarians to exaggerate a certain amount when describing a situation if something happened twice they will usually say it happened four times if six times they will often say 100 Recipients of such statements tend to take this into account when interpreting the statements Thus when I retold several of the anecdotes to a Bulgarian who grew up around the same time in the same places they were met with some skepticism eg she thought that Kapka s father being unable to find a store to buy potatoes in the summer in Bansko wasikely due to his unfamiliarity with the town and she found the story of Kapka s mother being overcome by the Squash Basics - How To Play Squash luxury of a Dutch bathroom similarly difficult to swallow The author spends a rather significant part of the time on the cultural injustice of the ethnic minorities being forced to change their names to Bulgarian ones in order to assimilate them though she focuses aot on the Turks and I think rather What Is a Googly?: The Mysteries of Cricket Explained less so on the Roma Gypsies who suffer ateast as much discrimination in Bulgaria and worse conditions Ethnic identity is a far prominent and complex part of Balkan society than in modern America in my opinion For instance as a Chinese American watching the Olympics in Bulgaria once I was assumed to be rooting for the Chinese team Also perhaps anomalously one of the most patriotic Bulgarians I know is a Bulgarian Turk whom I believe was alive during the time of the renamingThe one thing that I found rather hard to stomach about this book was the relentless undercurrent of pretentious self Of Magic and Mating New Canton Republic loathing the author takes significant pains to highlight the deprivations of the past and. The Berlin Wall sheived in Britain New Zealand and Argentina and several other places But when Bulgaria was formally inducted to the European Union she decided it was time to return to the home she had spent. If Ireland has Frank McCourt s Angela s Bulgaria has this
"by ms kapka "Ms She was born in Sofia Bulgaria in 1973 Ms Kapka Kassabova She was born in Sofia Bulgaria in 1973 grew up amidst the hardships of a communist country controlled by a totalitarian regime At the age of 16 her family managed to emigrate to New Zealand She did some travelling before finally settling in Edinburgh Scotland Written with exceptional poignancy and wry humor You 竹光始末 The Bamboo Sword And Other Samurai Tales llearn about Bulgaria reading this than actually going there and Bloodleaf looking around 15 Unfortunately this wasn t for me I found parts here in and there that fascinated me and I m so interested inearning and knowing about Bulgaria and it s history but this had a The Confusion: Books Four & Five of The Baroque Cycle lot of excessive details that pushed me from enjoying what was being shared It felt to me that it dragged on and there seemed to be aot of tangents that I don t feel were necessarily important for us the readers to know but maybe it was important for her to tellAround the world pick for Bulgaria An articulate bright author returns to her native country to bash all things Bulgarian Sometimes insightful and interesting other times times navel gazing and tiresome Kapka spoons up a combination of history travelogue and Iron Curtain memoir with some uestionable exaggeration and pretentious zingers Relevant to those who have Mismatch lived in Bulgaria or have some connection to or special interest in the country Kapka Kassabova grew up in Bulgaria under the Communist regime immigrating to New Zealand in 1991 at the age of 19 In the years after her departure she returned to the country several times to visit older relatives and to sightsee The first part of this book is a solid 4 star memoir about her childhood the rest documents her travels and earns 25 or 3 stars Unfortunately the travel section is theonger so I m rounding downThe memoir immediately captured my attention with stories of ife amidst hardship Although Kassabova s parents were well educated the family ived in two rooms in a shoddily constructed concrete apartment building surrounded by mud and thousands of other identical buildings the chance to buy anything new was so rare and even dangerous when shoppers physically fought over merchandise that the author s mother had a breakdown on a visit to a Dutch department store and interactions with anyone from the other side of the Iron Curtain were fraught as they truly came from different worlds One escape was music in a twist of irony as a teenager Kassabova enjoyed protest music from the West The censors allowed it through because the Test logiciel en pratique lyrics raged against the capitalist machine not realizing that teens reversed the meaning raging instead against the only machine they knewThe writing is clear descriptive and aittle self deprecating and so combined with interesting material the first section succeeds But then we get to the travel Kassabova initially presents her trip in 2006 as a return to Bulgaria after many years away but it soon becomes clear that she has traveled in the country as an adult on several occasions and she splices these trips together cutting back and forth between different visits to the same or nearby places which is disorientingThere doesn t seem to be much direction to Kassabova s travel the organization of this section felt scattershot and the reader gets Two Badges The Lives of Mona Ruiz little sense of why we should be interested in these particular places I m not sure what the author wasooking for on this trip but don t believe she found it the whole book is rather melancholy Certainly Bulgaria doesn t seem to have improved much with the fall of communism the overall picture Kassabova paints is one of foreign investors getting rich while regular people struggle to get by without a safety net and smaller towns continue to decay But I was interested to read about how the country has changed as well as a bit of its earlier history and the author s conversations with the people she meets are often entertainingUltimately this one is a cautious recommend certainly worth reading if you are interested in the subject matter but not the first book I would urge on an armchair traveler Street Without A Name by Kapka Kassabova A must read for anyone interested in Bulgaria Street Without A Name tracks the emotional and physical journies experienced by the author as she revisits the A Queen's Spy Plus The Tudor Heresy - Mercenary For Hire Series: Tudor Historical Fiction Novels - Adventure Fiction (Tudor Mystery Trials) land of her birth soon after its entry to the European Union Glimpses into her childhood and teens years under communist rule are written with passion but never sentimentality against a backdrop of cuttingly outlined history We see both the big picture and the small one a forced exodus described by the government as a holiday at the time detailed visits tooved grandparents repeated at intervals until death intervenes For me the book has a particular fascination as some of the descriptions of how people The Structure of Biblical Authority lived back then could almost have been written today Communism ended in 1989 Bulgaria entered the EU in 2007 but in some respects only the storefront has changed Kapka Kassabova s Street Without A Name is a roller coaster of a read a true tour de force and a historyesson all in one Memoir history book travelogue this book is written with clarity honesty sentiment not sentimentality and humor It s beautifully written The family stories are touching The history portions scratch the surface of huge gaps. Kassabova was born in Sofia Bulgaria and grew up under the drab muddy grey mantle of one of communism's most mindlessly authoritarian regimes Escaping with her family as soon as possible after the collapse of. ,
Read Street Without a Name Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria,
The grim aspects of the present For instance she spends a fair amount of time depicting Englishmen and the ike as slavering eering greedy exploiters ready spends a fair amount of time depicting Englishmen and the ike as slavering Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC's of Faith (Buechner, Frederick) leering greedy exploiters ready pounce on cheap Bulgarian properties or sometimes her This is also very Bulgarian in the sense of perceiving themselves as being at the mercy of the Great Powers It would be naive and rosy not to acknowledge the fact that the country is wracked with corruption gangsters mutri and so forth but sheikes to take certain facts and spin them into a narrative of backwardness For instance she begins with an anecdote about The Eatonville Anthology landing at the worst named airport in the world Airpost Vrazhdebna Hostile and juxtaposing this discussion with a description of some Germans who represent the modern progressive West that Bulgaria strives to emulate But there is a reasonable explanation which is that it was built in the village of Vrazhdebna on the outskirts of Sofia apparently that name comes from when that village was inherited by Bogomil heretics Further it seems to meike a rather appropriate name from a superstitious point of view an airport is a place that is perceived to be fraught with danger and risk and having flown in a Balkan Air Tupolev TU 154 out of that airport once I can fully understand why So it seems appropriate that to ward off the threat of evil spirits and happenings the airport has a powerful warding name In any case I found this book overall very interesting and informative She makes a disclaimer up front that everything is true as she remembers it but explicitly disclaims any pretense of objectivity Once when a Bulgarian I know was dismissing the news reports we were watching about goings on in the former Yugoslavia as all The TM Techniue An intro Transcendental Meditation Teachings Maharishi Mahesh YOgi Arkana lies I tried to ask how one can ever know what the truth is if all the news you ever get isiesshe explained that her way which I gathered was a common conceptualization of truth in the Balkans was to Das Glücksbüro listen to it all and thenook in your heart to figure out what the truth really is I feel that I should view the narrative presented in this book as having been filtered through this conceptualization of truth The material in this book is a very valuable source but I think it needs to be read and understood in context with other sources and experiences to gain a fuller picture of the history and culture of Bulgaria The best part of this book was the fact that the author grew up in the neighborhood I Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination live in so I recognized many of the streets andocal andmarks she references hey there s a photo of our McDonald s Other than this novelty factor though this book really paled in comparison to other Bulgarian books I ve read and international coming of age stories in general Persepolis comes to mind as a similar story but is far better not only in uality of writing but also ironically in giving a compelling portrayal of Bulgaria and the Balkan region The freuent and direct comparisons to Orwell s 1984 were heavy handed and sounded trite and adolescent my Bulgarian 10th graders who just finished reading 1984 could pick apart some of the flawed parallels in a heartbeat reducing
this complex country and people into a kind of archetype and while I did ike some of the stories surrounding Kassabovacomplex country and people into a kind of archetype and while I did The Santa Cruz Haggadah - Leader's Edition (Regular) like some of the stories surrounding Kassabova education in the Frenchycee in Sofia and the subseuent ack of a sense of place for herself and her classmates the contemporary parts of the book with the author road tripping around Bulgaria were fragmented hard to follow and frankly seemed exploitative as did much of the book overall I don t know much about the author but I very much got a sense of I know how I will break out as a writer I will Write a Book about my Obscure Country and it will be my Literary Niche and thus the road trip felt ike a means to that end rather than a sincere and organic reflection on her country of birth Also the book needs a way better editorproofreader ie someone who can get the spelling of Libya correct on a consistent basis Street Without a Name is a pure memoir bookThe first half of it reads easily not to say that you flow through the pages It is an interesting sneak in how a young also obviously uite switch on person felt about the surrounding environment in the 1980 90s on the threshold of the collapse of the communist regimeThe second part of the book is another story though not to say that it s nowhere near my Keepers of the Record: The History of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives literary taste Party the reason might be because I am Bulgarian and have basic knowledge of our history which is the main topic in this second halfUnfortunately I didn t see an in depth interpretation of the present through the prism of the past which seems to have been the author s initial idea To me the reason for this failure is Kassabova s inclination to criticize everything Bulgarian This on its side created the unpleasant feeling of an outsider who used to be part of that same environment and just because is not anyooks at it with an eye of superiority We all have seen enough of this already The Balkan sulkiness which every now and then the author points out as a main reason for Bulgaria s misfortunes not that she is wrong is deeply incarnated in her writing style This felt unfair Really enjoyed this trip through BulgariaThe author gives a fantastic tour of her country in a writing style that is easy to read yet full of emotion and pathos. Most of her Interaction Concepts of Personality life trying to escape What she found was a countryanguishing under the strain of transition This two part memoir of Kapka's childhood and return explains Entdeckungsreise in Die S�dsee Und Nach Der Berings Stra�e Zur Erforschung Einer Nord�stlichen Durchfahrt Vol 1 life on the other side of the Iron Curta.