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

Gabriele M. Linke


 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.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.2.46


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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by University of Groningen Library