The stories in Evidence are a connected sequence of reminiscences, told out of chronological order, by a single narrator. Kostandin Bitri is a wanderer, uprooted by war from an unnamed eastern European country. As he moves first to Western Europe and then to North America searching for a place to live and an identity, he observes the societies he inhabits with an uneasy, distrustful eye. Sometimes seeking a foothold or an advantage, sometimes just passing through, he observes the ways people torment and use one another. He sees the worst impulses that humanity tolerates, not only in others but in himself.
He relates his experiences in random order as they might occur to him in an evening’s conversation with a sympathetic but sometimes horrified listener. As an outsider, he observes corruption and banality, the dangers of ignorance in a brutal world, the need for caution and disguise. What he sees and describes amounts to a relentless deconstruction of power relationships: the power of the police over a terrorized population in an authoritarian state, of wealth over poverty in the bourgeois cultures of the West, of men over women, adults over children, of lies over truth. In
his encounters with strangers he also sometimes meets with kindness, generosity and unselfishness, but they are rare, and as a person victimized and scarred by his past he cannot help but fund such behaviour strange or naive.
In the final story he returns to his homeland to visit the last surviving member of his family, a distant cousin. Looking for the past, he finds a surprising, unrecognizable new reality.
Awards and Honours
Atlantic Book Awards / M. & J. Savage First Book Award (Winner)
Atlantic Book Awards / Thomas H. Raddall Fiction Prize (Finalist)
Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Best First Book of Short Fiction (Finalist)
Independent Publisher Book Awards (Finalist/Shortlist – Short Story Fiction)
ForeWord Magazine / Book of the Year Award (Finalist – Fiction/Short Stories)
ReLit Award (Shortlisted)