Translated from Finnish by David Hackston, Statovci’s writing is slyly artful. By September 2001, Bujar is in New York, where a drag artist nicks the money he’s saved from 80-hour-weeks of pot washing; 9/11 isn’t mentioned, which only underlines Bujar’s position on the margins. Next to nothing is said about his sister, who goes missing before he leaves Tirana. Bujar later admits he “consciously avoids” the likelihood that she’s fallen victim to people traffickers...Added complexity comes from how his time-hopping casts doubt over quite how he got to Italy in the first place. That question keeps you reading even when you feel daunted by his gruelling narrative. The answer is a shock, but one that befits the harsh perspective on show in this cruel odyssey.