Bolla by Pajtim Statovci explores themes of love, lust, betrayal, selfishness, and memory in a completely original and unique story. Statovci blends, bends, then breaks myth, legend, and law in ways rarely represented in modern literature. In the tradition of Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert, or more recently John Boyne’s Maurice Swift, the reader witnesses love, betrayal, and penitence in the main character Arsim, an Albanian man living in Kosovo. The term protagonist is used with a grain of salt as we follow the life of this character before, then in the aftermath of war in the troubled region. Bolla is above all else, intriguing, beguiling, at times challenging. Is our narrator a man or a monster? If he seeks redemption, what form could this possibly take? Might his salvation take on a deformed appearance equally matched to his “sins”?
Bonus: Look AT THAT COVER !!! It’s a piece of art for your bookshelf.