Like a Prisoner - Stories of Endurance
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Translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson
The book contains eleven dramatic and often horrifying stories, each describing the life of a different prisoner in the camps and prisons of communist Albania. The prisoners adapt, endure, and generally survive, all in different ways. They may conform, rebel, construct alternative realities of the imagination, cultivate hope, cling to memories of lost love, or devise increasingly strange and surreal strategies of resistance. The characters in different stories are linked to one another, and in their human relationships create a total picture of a secret and terrifying world. In the prisoners’ back stories, the anecdotes they tell, and their political discussions, the book also reaches out beyond the walls and barbed wire to give the reader a panoramic picture of life in totalitarian Albania.
Fatos Lubonja is Albania’s most distinguished opposition intellectual. He served 17 years in prison during communism, and since his release has been a fierce critic of the erosion of democracy.
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