Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova has been announced as the Scottish Book of the Year by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the Saltire Literary Awards 2017.
The non-fiction book looks at the borderlines that exist between countries, cultures and people. Describing it, the judges noted: ‘If ever there was a book for our times, it is Border: A journey to the Edge of Europe, delves into the stories of when the lines that separate countries on the map harden once more after their Cold War thaw. It is at once timely and timeless, with Kassabova - the poet and travel writer by trade - blending skills to spin something truly magical, and sadly, entirely necessary.’
Now firmly established as Scotland’s most prestigious annual book awards, the Saltire Society Literary Awards are supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and celebrate and support literary and academic excellence across six distinct categories. The winner of each individual book award wins a £2,000 cash prize and goes forward to be considered for the Saltire Book of the Year award and an accompanying cash prize of £3,000.
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe was also named 2017 Saltire Society Scottish Non Fiction Book of the Year.
Commenting on winning the Saltire Book of the Year Award, Kapka Kassabova said: "It is a great honour to receive this award which stands for everything I admire and cherish in my adopted homeland of Scotland. Border is in part about how dogma breeds division, and how division damages people on both sides of an artificial divide, but also within communities, families, individuals, even the unborn. Hard borders destroy our shared future. They breed ignorance and fear.
"Story-telling, memory, friendship, keeping an open heart - this is what heals and makes new pathways in the wake of collective trauma. I learnt it from my journey among the people and ghosts of the border. I hope that here in Scotland we will continue to cherish our hard-won freedoms and our curiosity about ourselves and the world - the birth right of every human being on earth, but a reality only for the lucky ones."