Biografi: A Traveler's Tale

Lloyd Jones, Author, Bertrand Piccard, Author, Diaz Criss Jones, Author Mariner Books $21.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-15-600128-1
In prose clear as window glass, sharp-eyed New Zealand novelist Jones (Splinter) recounts his journey through Albania in 1991, just as the poor, isolated country stumbles into a chaotic, post-communist future. Biografi (the title comes from the word for the security dossiers kept by the secret police on each citizen) is equal parts travelogue, political reportage and mystery: the author's search for Petar Shapallo, a dentist whose face had been surgically altered so he could serve as a double for the Communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, gives the book its considerable narrative thrust. Deftly, Jones etches memorable images of the country and its people: ``The notion of clouds gives way to layers of hill; their tops are darkly pencilled and fold back on one another''; a ``pale and thin'' man, fueled by his volatile convictions; the official ``state farms''-in reality desolate exile camps-dotting what was once the food bowl of Albania. Never intrusive, always curious, Jones is the perfect conduit for stories that are by turns horrifying and comic, tragic and heroic, each depicting yet another life stunted by repression. Biografi is a gem: sympathetic and informed, as enlightening as it is entertaining. First serial to Grand Street; QPB selection. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.