In this book, as in her previous work, Dimkovska convincingly and sovereignly transcribes the ontological equation of life as unrevocable pilgrimage and dis-placement (i.e. permanent division) between the old and new “home” (for example, as in the expression “moving to a new place is a cross that cuts your heart in two: one part there, the other here”) but even more and scarier, crossing of home and “abroad” in the chain of mutually reflexive terms and conditions (therefore, grandma Neda says that blue is the recognizable color of foreigners – because they primarily go and “reside” on the sea or the sky). L. Dimkovska, the author herself has always written without any reserves, “directly” and with her own skin as a “guarantor” – precisely on the deep, holy secrets of the permanently displaced soul, which does not leave anybody indifferent … especially, about the irrevocable and permanent reality of not/belonging, together with the high quotient of personal and uncommunicable loneliness (if nothing else, then, because of the bitter constant and truth, which states that “the native is always better than the newcomer”).
The novel “No-Oui” is a novel about the life of the people with wrong origins (or, wrongly transcribed names), who have to skillfully hide them or justify (and redeem) for them for life, with hardship, not only before the others, but also before themselves. Actually, in the last sentence of the novel, the younger Neda indicates the ambivalent symbolisms and division, built in the name of the grandmother (which implies not only the grammatical, but also the ontological duality between life and death No/Yes) – according to the family tradition of inheriting names, which is also build in the name of the narrator herself.
“But life is always Yes. Death is always No It was only the other way around in your name” – says young Neda.
The warm intimacy, which lightly intertwines Dimkovska’s novel, together with the inborn, Mediterranean softness of the characters and their close relation still manages, if not to defeat and overcome, then at least to heel the wounds and scars from our stay in this quite strange, contracting and violent world, as ours is today.