Reviewed by Ellen A on Jul 31, 2018
Biography & Autobiography
Which of a society’s members are extended the privilege of hoping and dreaming? This question lies at the heart of the Kosovo-born Finnish writer Pajtim Statovci’s internationally acclaimed debut, “My Cat Yugoslavia,” a strange, haunting and utterly original exploration of displacement and desire.
Statovci interweaves the stories of Emine, a young Kosovan bride, and her son, Bekim, whom the aftershocks of exile continue to roil three decades after her fateful wedding to his father. Bekim is a studious gay loner isolated by anxiety, sexuality and the struggle of having grown up a refugee in Finland. Despite a childhood history with ophidiophobic nightmares, he buys a boa constrictor and sets it loose in his apartment. The snake takes up residence under his sofa, driving away his few human visitors, and quickly adopts strangely companionable behaviors more befitting a dog than a reptile.
An urgent longing for love belies Bekim’s inscrutability. I won't tell you how it ends only that themes include Identity, LBGT, immigration and eccentrism. Adult/College level* for language.
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