‘A strange, haunting, and utterly original exploration of displacement and desire and a world apart from anything you are likely to read this year’ Téa Obreht, New York Times Book Review
‘Fearless, delicate, beautiful, sad, haunting, and wonderful. A brilliant novel’ Jeff VanderMeer
Yugoslavia, 1980s: a 16-year-old Muslim girl named Emine is married off to a man she hardly knows. But what was meant to be a happy match soon goes terribly wrong. Her country is torn apart by war and she flees with her family.
Decades later Emine’s son, Bekim, has grown up a social outcast in Finland; both an immigrant in a country suspicious of foreigners, and a gay man in an unaccepting society. Aside from casual hookups, his only friend is a boa constrictor whom he lets roam his apartment – even though he is terrified of snakes.
But one night in a gay bar, Bekim meets a talking cat who moves in with him and his snake. This witty, charming, manipulative creature starts Bekim on a journey back to Kosovo to confront his demons and make sense of the remarkable, cruel history of his family. It is a journey that will eventually lead him to love.