We are honored to be working with New Europe Books, Steerforth Press, and Osher at Dartmouth to bring Gazmend Kapllani to the Upper Valley to speak about A Short Border Handbook.
After spending his childhood in Albania and fantasizing about life across the border, Kapllani escapes to Greece--only to get banged up in a detention center. As he and his fellow immigrants try to find jobs, they begin to plan their future lives in Greece, imagining success that is always beyond their grasp. The sheer absurdity of both their plans and their new lives is overwhelming. Both 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 teaches creative writing and European history at Emerson College and was previously a fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute. Born in 1967 in Albania, he crossed the mountainous border into Greece on foot in 1991. In Greece he worked as a builder, a cook, and a kiosk attendant while earning a doctorate at Athens University.
“A telling reminder of how the borders that many of us are lucky enough to regard as bureaucratic inconvenience often form unimpeachable barriers and of how the way they are policed can be ruthless and absurd.” -- Laurence Mackin, Irish Times
Reservations are not necessary. Books will be available at the event and in Norwich before the lecture.
An exhilarating and darkly comical exploration of migration and borders from an Albanian who grew up in Hoxha's madhouse, longing to cross to Greece, only to find another seam of absurdities and disappointments on his eventual arrival.