Lea Ypi among the 20 books of 2021 proposed by the British "The Times"
This wonderful memoir, shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Literature, provides an overview of Albania's shattered communist regime, seen through the eyes of a child.
The images evoked by Lea Ypi will linger in your mind long after you close the book: empty precious Coca-Cola cans, stones marking your place in the bread line, and a bronze statue of Stalin beheading protesters .
What makes this book extraordinary is that the fall of this most secretive state of the Soviet states coincides with the end of Pi's childhood. As her parents uncover long-hidden and shocking truths, the confusion and frustration of adolescence merges with the chaos of the new capitalist state.
Ypi has been left wondering if any of the political systems allow us to be truly free. If you read a memoir this year, let it be this one.