Kapka Kassabova on Europe’s last nomadic pastoralists


Kapka Kassabova Kapka Kassabova is the most interesting new writer in the travel literature genre.  I use the term “new” in the sense of my own reading. I mostly read older books, or new books by older writers, because so little of what’s being published today seems relevant beyond the present moment. I think Kapka’s work will stand the test of time. She was born and raised in Cold War...

Edith Durham and the Balkans


Edith Durham, Albania’s ‘mountain queen’ When I hiked through the Accursed Mountains in Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania last June, I met older Albanians who still referred to Edith Durham as their “mountain queen” for her staunch advocacy of Albanian independence and her love of its people. I’d stumbled across a copy of her 1909 book High Albania while preparing for my trip, and...

To The Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace


Kapka Kassabova is taking us back to the Balkans. I’ve been looking forward to something new from this wonderful writer since Border, which was my top travel read of 2018. That earlier book touched on the author’s childhood in Bulgaria, and To The Lake takes us deeper as she journeys to her grandmother’s place of origin in the mountainous Macedonian lake district. The region was once an important...


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