Moldova is quite a little-known country but in our opinion an interesting one. This little country focuses many issues of bordering countries, those between East and West. What is more, to understand Moldova, you have to read it in a wider context, cultural and historical, in the shadow of previous Empire.
Today we would like to recommend you some books worth reading before visiting Moldova. We think they are valuable, helping to understand specific Moldovan spirit and get carried away by the atmosphere of the country. And if you have no idea why to visit the country at all, read our previous post.
To be honest we advise all that books not only for those going to Moldova but mainly for those interested in this area of the world, wanting to know more, understand better and find out what the problems of this part of Europe are.
- Ryszard Kapuscinski Imperium
Kapuscinski is a classic, in fact everybody have already read Imperium but because we appreciate it a lot we decided to put it on our list anyway. We first read the book couple years ago when we were planning a trip by transsiberian railway. Fascinated we came back to it many times. It is a must read for everyone who plans to visit East. The book, a report from a few years trip to falling apart USSR, is an attempt to describe the transformations within empire but as the author says: it does not end up with with an ultimate synthesis, on the contrary it desintegrates and falls aprart because during writing the main subject of the book the great soviet empire, falls apart too.
- Anne Applebaum Between East and West: Across the borderlands of Europe
Most of people hearing Ann Applebaum think about her most famoud book Gulag. A history. Between East and West is less known but still worth reading. It is the record of author’s travel from Baltic to Black Sea. Applebaum visited Kalinigrad, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. In her book she focuses not only on political processes but also describes competing religions, cultures and nationalisms within bordering countries. Book was published in 1994 and today some opinions seem to be very naive and astnonishment with some things completely normal for Eastern Europe residents annoying. On the other hand we highly appreciate that view from the outside supported with solid knowledge of history.
- Andrzej Stasiuk Traveling to Babadag
Another classic. Published in 2004 book tells about the journey not only across Eastern Europe but above all into the consciousness of people leaving on those teritorries. Descriptions of little things such as cigarettes or tickets become excuses to wonder about the erosion of civilisation on those areas. Author travels through Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, in fact not dedicating Moldova too many pages. So why do we recommend it? Because in this book it is not the geography what is important, it’s the people. Author focuses on individual people, small communities, their problems and current life andthose are common for all the bordering countries. In his descriprions of outskirts the city is an unnatural outgrowth, an alien. Chisinau housing estates he compares to giant gravestones stuck to fertile ground, New Jerusalem in technical death. This position is an excelent choice for those for whom the travel is something more than just visiting museums.