Biografi: An Albanian Quest
Biografi: An Albanian Quest
Jones, Lloyd
"Originally purported to be reportage, but has now been re-categorised as fiction. Jones visited Albania in 1991, six years after the death of dictator Enver Hoxha, when the country was still struggling to recover from the terrible damage inflicted by his regime. His account of the trip is built around his search for Petar Shapallo, a dentist from a remote village who had been forced into acting as a double for Hoxha, undergoing plastic surgery and kept under house arrest until Hoxha's death, when he was summarily turned out to fend for himself. Jones eventually makes contact with the broken lookalike, and travels the length of the country with him to visit places from his past. The only problem being that Shapallo didn't actually exist; in Jones's words, he is a fictive "metaphor" for the systematic rewriting by the Albanian state of each citizen's biografi (life story) in order to justify cruel and random punishments."
Second hand Paperback