7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A darkly humorous and bittersweet delight,
This review is from: A Street without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria (Paperback)
Kapka Kassabova's memoir about life in Bulgaria is a bittersweet delight. She grew up in 1980s Communist Bulgaria and has spent the intervening years trying to get away from her homeland. STREET WITHOUT A NAME is the story of her return, and an astringent thrill it is too, by turns touching, poignant and laugh-out-loud funny.
Once one of the more shadowy corners of Communist Europe, Bulgaria was never smeared with the notoriety of Romania or the Slavic states. Instead, it was best known for disturbingly well-formed athletes and ubiquitous moustaches. Since Communism's fall, it has attracted international investment, making it a popular destination for beach-goers - but the native Bulgarians see little of this new wealth. The chasm between utopias - Soviet and now capitalist - and the reality of the Bulgarian lot has not really changed over the decades.
Kassabova remembers the past, never with any hint of resentment or heady nostalgia, but with a straight realistic tone. Each chapter opens with a photograph in black and white, and the writing follows in very readable and acutely personal tenor.
This is a joy, even for those who never thought that they'd be interested in an eastern European backwater.