This is a brief annotated bibliography containing some of the books on
which I have enhoyed reading. It is by no means comprehensive. I have arranged
them in order of date of publication. Albania,
Margaret Durham was an anthropologist who fell in love with the Balkans. This describes in great detail the history and anthropology of the tribes living in the remote mountains of northern
There are modern editions of this beautifully written and illustrated classic
Peacock, W.: “
Albania: The Foundling
State of Europe”, publ. Chapman
& Hall ( ),
This is a fascinating, detailed account of life in and around Shkodër during the first years of Albanian independence. The author was attached to the British Consulate in Shkodër. His chapter on the future of
makes for interesting
reading in the light of what actually happened. Albania
Gordon, J & Gordon, C.: “Two vagabonds in
Albania”, publ. John Lane The Bodley Head ( ), 1927. London
Jan and Cora Gordon wrote a large number of “Two Vagabonds in…” travelogues. This one, which describes their trip to
, is beautifully illustrated
with the authors’ line drawings and chalk sketches. The text is humorous and
Bridge, A.: “Singing Waters”, publ. Macmillan (
), 1946. New York
Not quite as good as Bridge’s “Illyrian Spring”, her superb novel set in the Balkans, “Singing Waters” is set largely in
Muggeridge, M. (ed.): “Ciano’s Diary: 1939 -1943”, publ. William Heinemann (
This is a translation of Count Ciano’s secret diary, which was smuggled out of
by Ciano’s wife at the end of WW2. According to Mosely, who wrote a biography
of Ciano, this is a largely accurate account of the events described in the
diary. The first chapter of the diary describes the vents leading up to the
Italian invasion of Italy . Albania
Buda, A., Cun, J., Rrok, Z., & Skënder, A.: “Guide d’Albanie”, publ. by Editions “Albturist” (Tirana), 1958.
Difficult to obtain, this guide produced whilst the Albanians were still allies of the
Soviet Union is remarkably detailed. The historical section
ends with an affirmation of the country’s alliance with the Soviet
Union, ‘… le grand sauveur
et défenseur de notre people.”
Harry Hamm was a German journalist who was allowed to visit
in 1962. He was the first
western journalist to visit the country since 1957. He arrived just after the
Albanians had divorced themselves from the Albania Soviet Union.
He describes this break up between former allies in great detail. He also
foretells the alliance of Albania
and the People’s Republic of ,
which began soon after his visit. Hard to find, this is a fascinating book. China
Logoreci, A.: “The Albanians”, publ. Westview Press (
), 1977. Colorado
Published just after the death of Mao Tse Tung, this scholarly but readable book gives many interesting insights about the political, social, and economic conditions prevailing in Hoxha’s
He predicts the rift that developed between Albania China
not long after Mao’s death. The book ends with a comprehensive reading list
over five pages in length. Albania
I.: “Broken April”.
First published in 1978, numerous editions are available.
This haunting tale, which revolves around the Law of Lek, the codification of feuding in traditional
is a brief but brilliant story about the last days of a young man expecting to
be killed in an inter-familial vendetta. As in his other works, Ismail Kadare
captures a great deal with a few words. Albania
Ward, P.: “
publ. Oleander Press ( ),
The author describes his trip to
and uses it as the framework for his informative illustrated guidebook. It is
the most interesting guidebook to the country that I have come across. Albania
Halliday, J.: “The Artful Albanian”, publ. Chatto & Windus, 1986.
This book contains a number of extracts from the voluminous writings of Enver Hoxha and interesting commentaries about them. I lent my copy to one of the people with whom I travelled to
and she never returned it. If she is reading this now, I ask her to return it
Robyns, G.: “Geraldine of the Albanians: The Authorised Biography”, publ. Frederick Muller Ltd, 1987.
This true-life Mills and Boon tale, a biography of King Zog’s Hungarian wife, was written by Barbara Cartland’s biographer. It includes a description of Geraldine whimpering into her pillow on being deflowered.
Jones, L.: “Biografi”, publ. André Deutsch, 1993.
This curious tale about the fate of one of Enver Hoxha’s doubles in post-communist
contains good descriptions of conditions in the country soon after the end of
communist rule. Albania
Pettifer, J.: “Blue Guide:
”, publ. A&C Black ( Albania ), 1994. London
Published soon after
Albania shed its communist regime, this detailed
guidebook does its best in his section on ‘Personal Security’ to portray
as a lawless place, to which only the foolhardy visitor should stray. This book
provides an encyclopaedic account of Albania and her people. Albania
Mosely, R.: “Mussolini’s Shadow”, publ. Yale University Press (
1999. New Haven
This detailed biography of Count Ciano, Mussolini’s foreign minister and son-in-law contains a chapter on the Italian involvement in in
during WW2. Albania
I.: “The Successor”,
published in 2003.
This chilling tale, which explores the mysterious death of the successor to a political leader, is most probably based on the sudden death of Enver Hoxha’s right hand man and probable successor Mehmet Shehu.
Tomes, J.: “King Zog: Self-made monarch of
”, publ. Sutton (Stroud,
Gloucestershire), 2003. Albania
This well-written, interestingly detailed account of Zog’s life in
and then later in exile, includes a chapter about the Western Allies attempts
from the Communists in the 1950s. Albania
I.: “The Accident: a novel”, first published in
This recent novel by world famous author Ismail Kadare concerns the investigation of a mysterious traffic accident near to
airport. This story does not make for easy reading. It is deliberately
confusing. I suspect that it gives the reader a good insight into the tortuous
thought processes that were needed to survive in the oppressive atmosphere that
was inspired by Vienna 's
long serving dictator Enver Hoxha. Albania
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