- Narrated by: Rachel Babbage, Lea Ypi
- Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
- Release date: 01-18-22
Free AudioBook Summary
Longlisted for the 2021 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
A reflection on “freedom” in a dramatic, beautifully written memoir of the end of Communism in the Balkans.
Lea Ypi grew up in the last Stalinist country in Europe: Albania, a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. While family members disappeared to what she was told were “universities” from which few “graduated,” she swore loyalty to the Party. In her eyes, people were equal, neighbors helped each other, and children were expected to build a better world.
Then the statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled. Almost overnight, people could vote and worship freely, and invest in hopes of striking it rich. But factories shut, jobs disappeared, and thousands fled to Italy, only to be sent back. Pyramid schemes bankrupted the country, leading to violence. One generation’s dreams became another’s disillusionment. As her own family’s secrets were revealed, Ypi found herself questioning what “freedom” really means. With acute insight and wit, Ypi traces the perils of ideology, and what people need to flourish