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A polyphonic account of life in Albania under Enver Hoxha’s regime, arguably the most brutal totalitarian state of all

After breaking ties with Yugoslavia, the USSR and then China, Enver Hoxha believed that Albania could become a self-sufficient bastion of communism. Every day, many of its citizens were thrown into prisons and forced labour camps for daring to think independently, for rebelling against the regime or trying to escape – the consequences of their actions were often tragic and irreversible.

Mud Sweeter than Honey gives voice to those who lived in Albania at that time – from poets and teachers to shoe-makers and peasant farmers, and many others whose aspirations were brutally crushed in acts of unimaginable repression – creating a vivid, dynamic and often painful picture of this totalitarian state during the forty years of Hoxha’s ruthless dictatorship.

Very little emerged from Albania during communist times. With these personal accounts, Rejmer opens a window onto a terrifying period in the country’s history. Mud Sweeter than Honey is not only a gripping work of reportage, but also a necessary and unique portrait of a nation.

Winner of the Polityka Passport Prize Shortlisted for the Nike Prize

With an Introduction by Tony Barber

Translated from the Polish by Zosia Krasodomska-Jones and Antonia Lloyd-Jones