“Statovci’s literary gifts are prodigious.”
The New York Times Book Review
PAJTIM STATOVCI was born in Kosovo to Albanian parents in 1990. His family fled the Yugoslav wars and moved to Finland when he was two years old. He holds an MA in comparative literature and is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. His first book, My Cat Yugoslavia, won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for best debut novel; his second novel, Crossing, was a finalist for the National Book Award; and Bolla was awarded Finland’s highest literary honor, The Finlandia Prize. In 2021, Bolla was a finalist for The Kirkus Prize for Fiction.
His first novel, My Cat Yugoslavia, originally published in 2014, received widespread acclaim among critics and readers alike, and won Statovci the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize. The awarding jury praised the still only 24-year-old author’s ability to combine the dreamlike with the realistic, and give old symbols new meaning and power. My Cat Yugoslavia was published in English in 2017 by Pantheon Books. The novel was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award.
Statovci’s second novel, Crossing, published in 2016, was likewise thanked for its its exquisitely crafted prose and original treatment of the motifs. Statovci received the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize in 2016. Published in English in 2019 by Pantheon Books, Crossing was a National Book Award Finalist 2019. The novel was also longlisted for the 2021 International Dublin Literary Award.
Statovci’s third novel, Bolla, was published in August 2019 to raving reviews from the leading publications in Finland. In November 2019, Bolla won the most prestigious literature award in Finland, The Finlandia Prize. Statovci is the youngest winner of The Finlandia Prize, receiving the recognition at only 29 years of age. Bolla was also shortlisted for The Nordic Council Literature Prize. The novel was published in the US in 2021 to glowing reviews, and was a finalist for The Kirkus Prize for Fiction. In 2022, the novel won Statovci the Italian Premio Grinzane Literature Award.
Statovci’s work has been translated into over 20 languages.
Awards & Nominations
2022: Winner of the Italian Premio Grinzane Literature Prize (BOLLA)
2021: Finalist for The Kirkus Prize for Fiction (BOLLA)
2011: Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award (CROSSING)
2020: Winner of The Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize (CROSSING)
2020: Shortlisted for The Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa (CROSSING)
2019: Winner for the Finlandia Award for Fiction (BOLLA)
2019: Shortlisted for Storytel Awards (BOLLA)
2019: Shortlisted for the Suomalainen Kirjakauppa Book of the Year Award (BOLLA)
2019: National Book Award Finalist (CROSSING)
2019: Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award (MY CAT YUGOSLAVIA)
2018: Helsinki Writer of the Year Award
2017: Shortlisted for the Future of Finnish Culture Award
2016: Toisinkoinen Literature Prize (CROSSING)
2015: Shortlisted for the Flame Bearer Prize (MY CAT YUGOSLAVIA)
2014: Shortlisted for the Young Aleksis Literature Prize (MY CAT YUGOSLAVIA)
2014: Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for Best Debut (MY CAT YUGOSLAVIA)