Acclaimed novelist, essayist and poet Kapka Kassabova has produced a fascinating account of the border zone between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece in Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe. Setting out to meet the people of this little-known region and the waves of refugees passing through from afar, she discovers a land shaped by communism, world wars and the Ottoman Empire. Kapka speaks with Maria Tumarkin about her sharply observed portrait, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction.
Kapka Kassabova (International)
Kapka Kassabova was born in Bulgaria, emigrated with her family to New Zealand in the 1990s, and since 2005 has lived in Scotland. Her book, Border is a portrait of one of Europe's most hidden regions and a psycho-geographic study of how borders shape human lives. It won the Edward Stanford Travel Book of the Year, Saltire Book of the Year and has been shortlisted for the Baillie-Gifford Prize and the American National Book Critics Circle Awards. Her earlier books of narrative non-fiction are Street Without a Name, a coming-of-age memoir, and Twelve Minutes of Love, a journey through Argentine tango.
Maria Tumarkin (Australian)
Maria Tumarkin writes books (three to date and a fourth on the way), reviews, essays and pieces for performance and radio; she teaches and translates, and collaborates with visual artists, psychologists and public historians. Maria's work has been published, performed, carved into dockside tiles, and set to music. Maria holds a PhD in cultural history and teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne.