ONE OF KIRKUS'S BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR - ONE OF LIBRARY JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR - A Finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in Fiction
"Superb . . . Bolla
is a splendid achievement and Statovci a major talent."
–Steve Heighton, The New York Times Book Review
"Devastating . . . Statovci considers the horrors of the Balkan conflicts as he recounts the lovers' diverging paths in a story of loss and thwarted opportunities."
–The New York Times Book Review
"Devastating in the most beautiful ways. From the first pages you realize that you are in the hands of an absolute artist."
–Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
"Pajtim Statovci's Bolla
abounds with harrowing situations, from its narrator's struggles with a homophobic and repressive society to the longstanding effects of conflict in the Balkans at the end of the twentieth century. The incorporation of mythic elements contrasts with the specificity of the main plotline, but neither aspect of this novel winds up where you expect it to."
–Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders
is a haunting, lyrical meditation on loss that manages, through the alchemy of Statovci's impeccable writing, to be a surprisingly hopeful book. There is also in these pages a deeply humane lens which asks the reader to understand and identify with the mistakes we often make as flawed humans. I loved this book for its deep, burning wisdom, and will return to it again and again."
–Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased
"Astounding writing distinguishes this portrait of love, loss, and war . . . [Bolla
is] an eloquent story of desire and displacement, a melancholy symphony in a heartbreaking minor key. Statovci is a master."
"Engrossing . . . Statovci lets little sunlight into the narrative, the better to emphasize just how powerful homophobia and self-loathing can be . . . An unflinching consideration of the long aftereffects of an affair cut short."