site.btaWriter Kapka Kassabova about the Great Human Questions in Her Books
Kapka Kassabova is the author of several novels, poetry and non-fiction books. Her novel Border won the 2018 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding and the 2017 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year among others. In 2019/2020 she was on the jury of the Neustadt Prize.
Kassabova was born in Sofia. She lived in countries around the world. Today we find her in Scotland. Here is what the writer shared for BTA about her life abroad and about her Elixir project.
Her book series that includes Border, To The Lake, and Elixir examines all the great human questions in an intimate way, with a mosaic of voices, time travel, plants, people and mythical creatures, travelling on water and land.
Kassabova said that she spent two years in the world of Elixir. She specified: "This is the world of the mountain people, of three mountains in particular - Rila, Pirin, and the Rhodopes, connected through the river Mesta in multi-layered story and ecosystem". The genre of the book series is fiction documentary, which she calls magical non-fiction.
The author met and befriended many people, mostly Pomaks (Bulgarian-speaking Muslims), which helped her tell the story of healing one's suffering inflicted by political trauma, mass migration, poverty, and ecological destruction. "Elixir is a very Bulgarian book, a very Balkan one too, but also a universal story about the deep connection between humans and nature. Nature is our last hope," she concluded.