Pajtim Statovci’s ‘Crossing’ deals with gender identity in the world


Well it seems my reading drought has been broken. Thank you to all of you that reached out with ideas and suggestions on how to break the drought. I finished two books this past month and listened to a third.

The first book, “What Belongs to You” by Gareth Greenwell, came out a few years back and I started reading it back then, but the holds list caught up to me and I was not able to finish it. I picked it up again because Greenwell has a new novel out that takes place in the same universe, which I will be reviewing soon. The audiobook I listened to was “On Swift Horses” by Shannon Pufahl narrated by Cassandra Campbell and MacLeod Andrews. It is a beautifully written book and the audiobook is well-done. It has a little bit about old Vegas which I found very entertaining. However, the book below is the one I credit for breaking my drought.


BOOK REVIEW                                                                “Crossing”                                                                           by  Pajtim Statovci

This book came to my attention because it was short-listed for the National Book Award for Translated Literature. This is a wonderfully quirky book that defies explanation for the most part. It must be experienced. The story begins in post-Communist Albania. The setting was a new one for me, which was part of the reason I choose to read the book.

The main protagonist is Bujar, who, as a teen, flees Albania with his best friend. The book is told in non-linear episodes that follow Bujar all over the world. The best thing about the book is how it handles sexual orientation and gender identity. There are displays of many types of sexual orientation, including gay and demisexual. Bujar’s gender identification seems very fluid; some may say this fluidity comes at convenient times. This is the type of book that will stay with you a long time and begs to be discussed. If you have a book club this would be a great pick.

Scott Clonan is the branch manager at Sunrise Library. Materials can be accessed through with a valid library card and pin number. If you need a library card, stop by your local branch and present a valid, government-issued, picture ID or apply online.