'Some smuggle cigarettes, others alcohol - or weapons.
Our contraband, being invisible, is more dangerous.
Our contraband is undetectable by scanners.
What we carry as concealed excess baggage is stories.'
In this exquisite literary gem, Georgi Gospodinov, winner of the International Booker Prize, invites the reader on a winding journey through his own memories.
He shows us a childhood under Communism, a particularly Bulgarian variety of melancholy, the freedom and thrills found in reading and writing, and the coming of age of one extraordinary writer.
Ultimately, this profound, playful and deeply moving autobiographical text offers resounding proof of the power and importance of storytelling.
TRANSLATED FROM THE BULGARIAN BY KRISTINA KOVACHEVA AND DAN GUNN