Pajtim Statovci (b. 1990) moved from Kosovo to Finland with his family when he was two years old, and holds an MA in comparative literature from the University of Helsinki. Statovci’s works relate in sensitive and finely tuned prose the inner conflicts and questions about one’s identity that immigration, homosexuality, and the past might stir. His first novel, My Cat Yugoslavia, received widespread acclaim among critics and readers alike, and won Statovci the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize. The awarding jury praised the still only 24-year-old author’s ability to combine the dreamlike with the realistic, and give old symbols new meaning and power. Statovci’s second novel, Crossing, likewise became an instant success, winning the critics’ hearts with its exquisitely crafted prose and original treatment of the motifs. Crossing received the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize in 2016.
|Helsinki Writer of the Year Award Finland||2018|
|Shortlisted for the Future of Finnish Culture award (the Future of Finnish Culture award) Finland||2017|
|Toisinkoinen Literature Prize Finland – Tiranan sydän||2016|
|Shortlisted for the Flame Bearer Prize (Best Novel) Finland – Kissani Jugoslavia||2015|
|Shortlisted for the Young Aleksis Literature Prize Finland – Kissani Jugoslavia||2014|
|Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize (Best First Novel) Finland – Kissani Jugoslavia||2014|
Pajtim Statovci is the winner of the 2018 Helsinki Writer of the Year Award. The annual award, which is handed out by the Authors Association of Helsinki, is intended to recognize writers whose works present Helsinki in a refreshing and prominent manner.
The jury has the following to say about this year’s winner:
“Pajtim Statovci has introduced new themes and a new point of view into Finnish literature. His narratives are strong and original. Statovci’s use of the Finnish language is rich and his metaphors are pertinent. In his two novels, Pajtim Statovci has created thought-provoking points of view in relation to questions of identity, doing so by focusing on minorities and new citizens. Statovci uses art to demolish categories related to sexual identity and power.
Pajtim Statovci is presently one the most successful Finnish authors internationally. Through his novels, he has made Helsinki known all over the world.”
Pajtim Statovci’s internationally acclaimed My Cat Yugoslavia has been named one of the best books of 2017 by The Boston Globe. The American daily newspaper lauds the novel, likening it to Mikhail Bulgakov’s 20th century masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.
“Like a ‘Master and Margarita’ of exile, this marvelous and frequently hilarious debut novel conjures a talking cat who soothes the soul of a lonely gay man in Helsinki and also possesses the secret for how he can go home to his ancestral Kosovo and find out what happened to his family in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.”
-Kent Worcester, The Boston Globe
Pajtim Statovci (My Cat Yugoslavia, Heartlines) has written a piece for the British newspaper The Guardian, listing his favorite talking animals in literature, as well as his reflections on the characters and titles in question.
To read the piece, click “Read more” below.
Sofi Oksanen and Pajtim Statovci have both been nominated for awards at The Culture Gala of the Century in Finland. The gala will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence, and the past 100 years’ cultural heritage.
Sofi Oksanen has been nominated in the Internationalization category for the Ambassador of Finnish Culture award. She shares the category with among else director Aki Kaurismäki.
Pajtim Statovci is a nominee for the Future of Finnish Culture award in the Future category, which turns an eye to the individuals that will shape contemporary Finnish culture in the years to come.
The Gala of The Century will take place in Turku on October 18th. It will be broadcast live by Finland’s national public broadcasting company, YLE.
Pajtim Statovci’s Heartlines has won the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize 2016. Heartlines is Statovci’s second novel to date and tells the rich and beautiful story of a young man’s odyssey through the cities of the world. The panel deciding the winner of the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize motivated their choice of Heartlines thusly:
“The novel skillfully and grippingly carries the reader through its different settings, through the metropolises of the world as well as mythical landscapes, while also managing to truly move the reader. Carefully composed characters and the fantastic, highly expressive language create a harmonious and stirring ensemble that reminds us of the power inherent in stories.”
Pajtim Statovci’s second novel Heartlines has been shortlisted for the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize 2016. The winner of the award will be chosen by a panel of Finnish literature students at the University of Helsinki. The award ceremony will take place on October 27th.
In the devastation of post-Communist Albania, a place where first rulers, then beliefs have collapsed and died, the young Bujar and his friend Agim decide to seek out a new beginning. As they travel they carry with them the age-old stories of their ancestors, tales in which an Albanian’s honor can conquer the weaknesses of humankind.
Years later a young man’s odyssey through the cities of the world comes to an end in a cold country by the sea. Will the man’s fragmented story finally reach closure, and can a broken mind ever truly find peace?
Pajtim Statovci’s second novel Heartlines is a breath-taking story about the human condition and our desire to be seen.
Pajtim Statovci (b. 1990) moved from Kosovo to Finland with his family when he was two years old. His debut novel, My Cat Yugoslavia, relates in sensitive and finely tuned prose the inner conflict and questions about one’s identity that immigration, homosexuality, and the past might stir. The novel, published in 2014, received widespread acclaim among critics and readers alike, and Statovci won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in the category ‘Best Debut’. The awarding jury praised the still only 24-year old author’s ability to combine the dreamlike with the realistic, and give old symbols new meaning and power. At present, Pajtim Statovci studies comparative literature at the University of Helsinki, and screenwriting at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.