13 June, 2021

Girl, Interrupted

...and Kassabova's exploration of a girl grappling with history

Girl, Interrupted
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Nadedja means hope. The name of the heroine is used an incantation throughout this novel and she, with her sheet of hair, amber eyes, 'latent dimple', and a waist her lover can span with one hand, is a talisman for its tortured characters. Nadedja is twenty-one. Her unreal beauty made human by her alarmingly real menstrual cramps and occasional shoplifting, she is backpacking through New Zealand on apricot biscuits and coffee. Poised tantalisingly between saga and adolescent angst, this is a story of journeys and exile, actual as well as metaphoric.

Reconnaissance is also about the "deathlock of greater history and smaller destiny". It is the chronicle of a family wrenched apart by the political tumult in the Balkans. Up till the age of 16, Nadedja's world is located in an impoverished Bulgaria. It is here that she has felt the first piercing stabs of sexual longing, walked on the beach with her teenage sweetheart Anton, watched her parents quarrel and make up, listened to family stories. Family myth embraces her uncle and grandfather's escape to New Zealand-the...

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