ALBANIA: The Country Where No One Ever Dies by Ornela Vorpsi

The Land Where No One Ever Dies by Ornela Vorpsi is a short novel, bleak but hopeful, following a young girl in 1970s Albania – it’s set in short vignettes that flit back and forth in time – family drama interweaves with living under the Hoxha regime at it’s most isolationist and controlling, with more lighthearted glimpses of school and childhood merged in. It feels semi-autobiographical (sometimes the girl is also called Ornela), and paints the awkwardness of puberty with sexual repression both on a personal level, and under the ideal Socialist State.

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