The Melbourne Athenaeum Library

Free : coming of age at the end of history /

by Ypi, Lea, Published by : Penguin Books, (London :) , 2022 Physical details: 313 pages : illustrations, colour ; 20 cm. ISBN:9780141995106; 0141995106. List(s) this item appears in: October 2022 Biography
Holdings
Item type Home library Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
New book Melbourne Athenaeum Library
Biography 949.65 YPI Available 064306
Total reserves: 0

"Costa Book Awards shortlist 2021" and "the Baille Gifford prize for Non-fiction 2021 shortlisted" - front cover.

Part I / 1. Stalin -- 2. The other Ypi -- 3. 471: A brief biography -- 4. Uncle Enver has left us for ever -- 5. Coca Cola cans -- 6. Comrade Mamuazel -- 7. They smell of sun cream -- 8. Brigatista -- 9. Ahmet got his degree -- 10. The end of history -- Part II / 11. Grey socks -- 12. A letter from Athens -- 13. Everyone wants to leave -- 14. Competitive games -- 15. I always carried a knife -- 16. It's all part of civil society -- 17. The crocodile -- 18. Structural reforms -- 19. Don't cry -- 20. Like the rest of Europe -- 21. 1997 -- 22. Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point is to change it -- Epilogue -- Acknowledgements.

Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it was home. People were equal, neighbours helped each other, and children were expected to build a better world. There was community and hope. Then, in December 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything changed. The statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled. Almost overnight, people could vote freely, wear what they liked and worship as they wished. There was no longer anything to fear from prying ears. But factories shut, jobs disappeared and thousands fled to Italy on crowded ships, only to be sent back. Predatory pyramid schemes eventually bankrupted the country, leading to violent conflict. As one generation's aspirations became another's disillusionment, and as her own family's secrets were revealed, Lea found herself questioning what freedom really meant. Free is an engrossing memoir of coming of age amid political upheaval. With acute insight and wit, Lea Ypi traces the limits of progress and the burden of the past, illuminating the spaces between ideals and reality, and the hopes and fears of people pulled up by the sweep of history.

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