A Novel
Orig. Finnish pub. 08/2019
English pub. 07/2021




  • A Finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize in Fiction
  • A Finalist for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Award
  • One of Kirkus’s Best Fiction Books of the Year 2021
  • One of Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year 2021

From the author of Crossing—a National Book Award finalist—comes a dazzling tale full of fury, tenderness, longing, and lust.

“Devastating in the most beautiful ways. From the first pages you realize that you are in the hands of an absolute artist.”
— Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby


“Pajtim Statovci’s Bolla abounds with harrowing situations, from its narrator’s struggles with a homophobic and repressive society to the longstanding effects of conflict in the Balkans at the end of the twentieth century. The incorporation of mythic elements contrasts with the specificity of the main plotline, but neither aspect of this novel winds up where you expect it to.”
Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders

Bolla is a haunting, lyrical meditation on loss that manages, through the alchemy of Statovci’s impeccable writing, to be a surprisingly hopeful book. There is also in these pages a deeply humane lens which asks the reader to understand and identify with the mistakes we often make as flawed humans. I loved this book for its deep, burning wisdom, and will return to it again and again.”
— Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

“Astounding writing distinguishes this portrait of love, loss, and war . . . [Bolla is] an eloquent story of desire and displacement, a melancholy symphony in a heartbreaking minor key. Statovci is a master.”

Publishers Weekly, starred


“Engrossing . . . Statovci lets little sunlight into the narrative, the better to emphasize just how powerful homophobia and self-loathing can be . . . An unflinching consideration of the long aftereffects of an affair cut short.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred

“Pajtim Statovci’s exquisite new novel’s lovers meet at the worlds worst moment.” – – “In his third novel, the 29-year-old Statovci, shows once again astonishing and undeniable virtuosity that rises his art to a dimension that has no time and place.” – – “Bolla impressively continues Pajtim Statovci’s career of international calibre.”
— Helsingin Sanomat, Finland

“Astounding, intense, melancholic.” – – “Multifaceted, skilful, contemplative, voluptuous.”
— Turun Sanomat, Finland

“5/5 stars. Pajtim Statovci’s third novel is even more intact and astounding than its predecessors.”

— Kainuun Sanomat, Finland

“In his third novel, Pajtim Statovci, writes with even more focus and vision than before and with such power that one could compare the fast-paced BOLLA to a top-notch surgery. The surgery is over in one sitting, and the end result is groundbreaking. Statovci’s ability to combine timeless, mountainous elements to naturalism is inimitable.” – – “In its clarity, BOLLA is a cinematic novel. It has the same divine yet barbaric poetic beauty as Jacques Audiard’s masterpiece A Prophet.”
— Suomen Kuvalehti, Finland

“Best Finnish prose in years. Pajtim Statovci writes high quality international literature, just as he did with My Cat Yugoslavia and Crossing. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that his third novel, BOLLA, vows with its excellence.” – – “BOLLA is worthy of being adapted on stages and screens, of foreign audiences.” – – “All in all, BOLLA is a magnificent book, Statovci’s best.”
— Demokraatti, Finland

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