Two Albanian boys run down the street with plastic bags. They can’t stay in their lives, can’t stay in their country as it lurches out of communism, so they run away from home. Together. They’ll be together forever. Bujar doesn’t have many clothes, or any money. Agim stole his dad’s money, and has packed many, many more clothes—he needed some of his mom’s and sister’s, too.

Pajtim Statovci’s beautiful new novel, Crossing, is emblazoned with a crest of eagles entwined around a human face who looks to be passing from one plane to another.

Friendship and love, truth and fiction, violence and fallout, present and past, man and woman—each two states share borders to be crossed. And we will be told wild old stories of animals, of eagles, fluttering through the pages, soaring. PLEASE READ

Crossing by Pajtim Statovci, translated by David Hackston, from Pantheon