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A Short Border Handbook

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | A Short Border Handbook.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Gazmend Kapllani(Author) Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife(Translator)

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An exhilarating, blackly funny exploration of migration and borders from an Albanian who grew up longing to cross to Greece, only to find reality did not match fantasy After spending his childhood and school years in Albania, imagining that the miniskirts and game shows of Italian state TV were the reality of life in the West, and fantasizing accordingly about living on the other side of the border, the 1985 death of Albanian Communist leader Hoxha at last enables Gazmend Kapllani to make his escape. However, on arriving in the promised land, he finds neither lots of willing leggy lovelies nor a warm welcome from his long-lost Greek cousins. Instead, he gets banged up in a detention center in a small border town. As Gazi and his fellow immigrants try to find jobs, they begin to plan their future lives in Greece, imagining riches and successes which always remain just beyond their grasp. The sheer absurdity of their plans and their new lives is overwhelming. Both detached and involved, ironic and emotional, Kapllani interweaves the story of his experience with meditations upon border syndrome--a mental state, as much as a geographical experience--to create a brilliantly observed, amusing, and perceptive debut.

'Kapllani treats the absurdities of nationalism in the Balkans - and everywhere - with mischief, wit and insight' - Independent-- Review'Kapllani's stories offer a poignant and humane glimpse into the complex life of a migrant'- Financial Times -- Review

3.5 (5252)
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Review Text

  • By Leslie Lees on 1 May 2009

    This is a great book. Funny, sad, humane, thought-provoking and, above all, entertaining. For anyone who has seen the casual and heedless racism thrown at Albanians (or anyone) in London (or New York or anywhere) the book should humanize them and help to create a more compassionate environment for anyone who is trying to improve their life and is, in the meantime, contributing mightily to our wealth while getting scorn and abuse in return.But the book is not preachy. It is truly a joy to read. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  • By N. H. Eastwood on 12 January 2010

    This is a lovely book. A series of short essays, effectively written, and with an excellent balance of history and reality matched with personal experience.The book is very easy to read, even in snatches, and provides a very realistic insight into the issues and diifuclties of being a migrant.I would recommend this book to anyone - especially those who have no experience of being a migrant - it gives a real insight into the benefits of our UK society and helps you to realise how lucky we have been

  • By Alison on 25 April 2010

    Accessible, well-written book. A longer narrative, divided into snapsnots, about a particular person crossing from Albania to Greece is interspersed with reflections on particular aspects of leaving your country of origin and making your life in a second country. Often moving, but also witty, it holds the attention. Would also be a useful text for those teaching on any aspect of migration.

  • By elunia on 12 April 2011

    Great book, both funny and thought provoking with a glimpse of life under a bizarre dictator. The reader will understand the weight and the baggage attached to the word 'migrant' and will gain respect for anyone who risks his/her life for that label.

  • By A. Llazari on 18 October 2009

    Simply great. If you are a migrant, buy it to laugh a bit about your struggles. If you are not buy it for its understated life wisdom..


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