Kosovan Albanian, whose family left his native land for inland when he was two. He has attracted attention with his highly readable My Cat Yugoslavia, which writes of immigration and identity without lapsing into literary cliché. He writes openly of the collision between north and south and of sexuality without borders. His literary debut is surprising in its thematic and formal maturity, even though he was only twenty-four at the time of its publication. In 2014 his novel won the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper’s prize for a first book. The rights to the book have already been sold in several countries, including the USA.
My Cat Yugoslavia
A young man, a python and an unpredictable feline predator. One family, two countries and many pieces of broken hearts. In the 1980s in rural Yugoslavia a young Muslim woman marries a young man she barely knows. She tries, as much as she can, to be a good wife, but she encounters one disappointment after another. When the country falls apart amidst the flames of war, the family flees and she leaves behind the life she knew. The young immigrant grew up in Finland, a cold land, where he is expected to be grateful for his ordained place in society. This lonely outcast buys a python and later in a bar encounters a mysterious feline creature, thanks to which he decides to finally make something of his life.