Street without a Name

‘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

Shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book Award

Final selection for 2009 Prix du livre

‘A fascinating book at once evocative, disturbing, and chock-a-block full of charm.’ Jan Morris

‘Kapka Kassabova’s uncanny ability to recall her childhood perceptions in all their intense purity gives us a unique memoir of what it was like to grow up in a Communist satellite country. In the mosaic of books about the bad old days, this book is the piece that was always missing. Now we have it, and it shines.’ Clive James

‘Kapka Kassabova’s poignant evocation of a childhood spent under one-party rule is complemented by her sharply observed and devastating account of her return to post-communist Bulgaria. Her skillful blend of memoir and travelogue offers a highly readable introduction to a rarely described corner of Europe.’ Vesna Goldsworthy

‘An emotionally dark, ironically humorous memoir… The most memorable and affecting parts are those describing Kassabova’s youth, a poignant and painful odyssey into the past by someone who spent years trying to escape it. Kassabova’s prose reveals a poet’s sensitivity.’ Sofka Zinovieff, Times Literary Supplement

‘[A] bitterly funny, brilliantly clever journey… The raw memoir is the first great achievement of this multifaceted book. The second is her meditation on nationality. Today we all live with the consequences of the tumbling economic, political and cultural walls. In a globalised world, Kassabova suggests, we are all Bulgarians now.’ The Times

Guardian Review by Misha Glenny