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Crossing — Book talk with author Pajtim Statovci

Crossing — Book talk with author Pajtim Statovci


Book talk: Pajtim Statovci

Monday, April 8, 2019 — 7 PM.

Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Pajtim Statovci, the internationally acclaimed Kosovo-born Finnish writer praised for his debut novel by the New York Times “ as a marvel, a remarkable achievement” and that his “literary gifts are prodigious” will joins us to discuss Crossing, his new novel that speaks to identity, war, exile, love, and much, much more.

Presented by the Albanian Institute in collaboration with the Scandinavia House,  we are pleased to invite you to join us for a literary conversation with the author Pajtim Statovci in person, followed by a book signing and reception. The event is supported by FILI ( Finnish Literature Exchange).

The discussion will be moderated by the American poet and translator Matthew Dix. Following the talk, copies will be available for purchase and signing. The event is free, but RSVP’s are required. First come first served basis.


Following the death of Enver Hoxha as well as the loss of his own father, Bujar is left growing up in the ruins of Communist Albania. Only his fearless best friend Agim – who is facing his own realizations about his gender and sexuality – gives him hope for the future. Together the two decide to leave everything behind and try their luck in Italy.

In Rome he takes pains to disguise his Albanian origins, he carries stories from his late father about his ancestral nation and the deeds of heroes whose hearts reside “in the breast of the black two-headed eagle on the flag.” But the struggle to feel at home–in a foreign country and even in one’s own body–will have corrosive effects, spurring a dangerous search for new identities. Steeped in a rich heritage of bewitching Albanian myth and legend, this is a deeply timely, deeply necessary novel about the broken reality for millions worldwide, identity in all its complex permutations, and the human need to be seen.


Pajtim Statovci  (b. 1990) is a Finnish-Kosovan novelist. He moved from Kosovo to Finland with his family when he was two years old. He lives in Helsinki, holds an MA in comparative literature, and currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Helsinki.

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His first novel, My Cat Yugoslavia (2014), received widespread acclaim among critics and readers alike, and won Statovci the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for best debut novel. The awarding jury praised the then 24-year-old author’s ability to “combine the dreamlike with the realistic, and give old symbols new meaning and power.”

Statovci’s second novel, Crossing (2016), likewise became an instant success, winning the critics’ hearts with its exquisitely crafted prose and original treatment of the motifs. Statovci received the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize in 2016.

Pajtim Statovci’s literary gifts have earned him numerous accolades and prizes, including the recipient of the 2018 Helsinki Writer of the Year Award.

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