Life Writing Trajectories in Post-1989 Eastern Europe

“Belonging” in Post-Communist Europe: Strategies of Representations in Kapka Kassabova's Street without a Name

  • Gabriele M. Linke Dept. of English, University of Rostock, Germany

Abstract

 In her book Street without a Name, Kapka Kassabova, a Bulgarian author living in Scotland, combines a memoir of her childhood in communist Bulgaria with a travelogue about later return visits to her – now post-communist – native country. In this study, the discontinuous, fragmented and heterogeneous narrative of her autobiographical text is interpreted as an attempt to find an appropriate mode of sharing intimate knowledge of life in communism with a wider reading public in (primarily) Western English-speaking countries. It is demonstrated that Kassabova, writing from the perspective of an expatriate, emphasizes both the uniqueness of life in communist Bulgaria and the commonality of many experiences and values as well as their compatibility with those held by many people in Western countries. By employing a hybrid textual form, she succeeds in rendering her experiences as a child and teenager in communist Bulgaria and as a transnational migrant into the structures, metaphors and themes of a transnational “liquid modernity”, thus appealing to a broad multinational readership.

Author Biography

Gabriele M. Linke, Dept. of English, University of Rostock, Germany
Professor for British and American Cultural Studies, Dept. of English
Published
2013-03-28
Section
Life Writing Trajectories in Post-1989 Eastern Europe