Glimmer of Hope, Glimmer of Flame, by Ag Apolloni

Third paragraph (there are no separate sections in this 169 page book):

The works are lost, but the author remains. The most wonderful and the most woeful, tragediographic and tragic.

(English translateion by Robert Wilton)

I got this last month when the author launched it at a Kosovo Embassy event in Brussels, a short novel that was declared Kosovo’s Novel of the Year in 2020. It’s a quick but tough read, written in something of a stream-of-consciousness style, linking the stories of two women who lost most of their families in the 1999 conflict with the ancient Greek myths, most notably the story of Niobe as told in the lost play by Aeschylus (and Lemonnier’s 1772 vision of that story graces the front cover). The descriptions of the violence done to civilians by Serbian police and paramilitaries are visceral and vivid, and unapologetically (and rightly) one-sided. It takes a bit of patience to follow the twists between the interlinked stories, but I felt that my patience was rewarded. You can get it here.

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