Father's Books

Father's Books


In Father's Books, the first volume in Luan Starova's extensive Balkan Saga, the author explores themes of history, displacement and identity under three turbulent twentieth century regimes: Ottoman, Fascist and Stalinist. Weaving a story from the threads of his parents’ lives from 1926 to 1976, Starova offers a child’s-eye view of personal relationships in changing political landscapes and an elegiac reminder of the enduring power of books in maintaining language culture. Through lyrical waves of memory, Starova reveals the overlapping religious, linguistic, national and cultural history of his family. His father left Constantinople after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the young family fled from Albania to Yugoslav Macedonia when Luan was still a boy. His parents, who are cosmopolitan and who traveled a lot in their youth and immersed in the cultures of both Orient and Occident, find themselves raising their children in another stagnant and repressive state. In this context, Starova recalls the protected spaces of his childhood: his mother's walled garden, his father's library, a closet with his father's rarest and most precious book. Preserving a lost legacy, these books open up a world that seems wide, deep and boundless.


  • Year of the edition: 2022
  • Original title: Tatkovite knigi
  • Original language: Macedonian
  • Translation: Borislav Pavlovski