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A Short Border Handbook [Paperback]

Gazmend Kapllani , Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 May 2010
After spending his childhood and school years in Albania, imagining that the mini-skirts and quiz-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 death of 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 centre 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 both 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd; Reprint edition (3 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846271509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846271502
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 910,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A brilliant, wry and playful memoir about migration. Kapllani tells it as it's never been told before.' Lisa Appignanesi 'Kapllani treats the absurdities of nationalism in the Balkans - and everywhere - with mischief, wit and insight' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Review

'Kapllani's stories offer a poignant and humane glimpse into the complex life of a migrant'- Financial Times
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous insight into being a migrant 12 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 25 April 2010
By Alison
Format:Hardcover
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.
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