Join author, Margo Rejmer, in conversation with the translators of her book, Mud Sweeter Than Honey.
Albania was arguably the most brutal totalitarian state of all.
“A moving evocation of the ‘everyday terror’ systematically perpetrated over 41 years of Albanian communism . . . An illuminating if harrowing insight into life in a totalitarian state.” Clarissa de Waal, author of Albania: Portrait of a Country in Transition
*Winner of the Polityka Passport Prize*
*Shortlisted for the Nike Prize*
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.
MALGORZATA (MARGO) REJMER is an award-winning Polish novelist, reporter, and writer of short stories. She is the author of the novel Toximia and the nonfiction work Bucharest: Dust and Blood, which won the Newsweek Award for best book of 2014 and the Gryfia Literary Award. In 2018 she was awarded the Polityka Passport, the most prestigious prize in Poland for emerging artists, for Mud Sweeter than Honey. Her books have been translated into eight languages. She lives in Warsaw and Tirana.
ANTONIA LLOYD-JONES has translated works by several of Poland’s leading contemporary novelists and reportage authors. Her translation of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by 2018 Nobel Prize laureate Olga Tokarczuk was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.
ZOSIA KRASODOMSKA-JONES is a literary translator working from Polish. Since being selected for the National Centre for Writing’s Emerging Translator Mentorship in 2018, she has translated several books and collaborates regularly with online journals. She lives in Brussels.