“It’s called stone-breaker, yet it’s such a small flower,’ Metko said. ‘You can’t see the flowers now. It flowers in spring, in the cracks of rocks. I look at the stone flower and think of Kafka: What you love will die, but return in another form.”

The Bookseller Editor’s Choice

Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week

TO THE LAKE: A Journey of War and Peace

“Ohrid made you feel the weight of time, even on a peaceful evening like this, with only the screech of cicadas and the shuffle of old women in slippers.”


Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger 2021/ Best Foreign Book of Non-Fiction, winner

The Highland Book Prize, shortlisted

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, February 2020

Best Books of 2020 in The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, The Herald, The Tablet, and The Booksellers’ magazine

BORDER: A Journey to the Edge of Europe

“People die crossing borders, and sometimes just being near them. The lucky ones are reborn on the other side.”

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2020 Prix Nicolas Bouvier in France, winner

2020 Prix européen du livre, special mention of the jury

2020 Angelus Central European Literary Prize in Poland, shortlisted

2018 British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, winner

2018 Highland Book Prize, winner

2017 Edward Stanford Dolman Book of the Year, winner

2017 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year, winner

The Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, shortlisted

Duff Cooper Prize for Non-Fiction, shortlisted

2018 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, shortlisted

The Baillie-Gifford Prize, shortlisted

The National Book Critics Circle Awards, US, shortlisted

The Gordon Burn Prize, shortlisted



Granta UK, 2011

‘An exquisitely crafted blending of travelogue, memoir, dance history and some seriously good writing on the human condition, it delves deep into the obsessive nature of tango and vividly depicts a world full of beauty and heartbreak, love and loss.’   The Independent


Granta UK, 2008

“Not many books on the travel shelves have the force of revelation, but this one does. Kapka Kassabova leads us into a country most of us have hardly read about with an elegant assurance, an acid wit and a heart-rending precision that can make you see the world quite differently. This book is a treasure.” Pico Iyer



Alma UK, Penguin NZ, 2011. Bulgarian and Mexican editions.

‘The exoticism here is reminiscent of Somerset Maugham’s Borneo Stories and the quasi-hallucinogenic experiences of Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky.’  The Times Literary Supplement



Penguin NZ, 1999. Israeli and Japanese editions.

Winner of the 2000 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel in South-East Asia and the Pacific. Short-listed for 1999 Montana Book Awards for Best First Novel.