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Vrij opgroeien aan het einde van de…
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Vrij opgroeien aan het einde van de geschiedenis (original 2021; edition 2021)

by Lea Ypi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1362168,329 (4.17)14
WINNER OF THE ONDAATJE PRIZE THE SUNDAY TIMES MEMOIR OF THE YEAR 'Wonderfully funny and poignant. . . a tale of family secrets and political awakening amid a crumbling regime. One of the nonfiction titles of the year' Luke Harding, Observer 'We never lose our inner freedom; the freedom to do what is right' Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it was home. People were equal, neighbours helped each other, and children were expected to build a better world. There was community and hope. Then, in December 1990, everything changed. The statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled. Almost overnight, people could vote freely, wear what they liked and worship as they wished. There was no longer anything to fear from prying ears. But factories shut, jobs disappeared and thousands fled to Italy on crowded ships, only to be sent back. Predatory pyramid schemes eventually bankrupted the country, leading to violent conflict. As one generation's aspirations became another's disillusionment, and as her own family's secrets were revealed, Lea found herself questioning what freedom really meant. Free is an engrossing memoir of coming of age amid political upheaval. With acute insight and wit, Lea Ypi traces the limits of progress and the burden of the past, illuminating the spaces between ideals and reality, and the hopes and fears of people pulled up by the sweep of history. WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, FINANCIAL TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, TLS, DAILY MAIL, NEW STATESMAN AND SPECTATOR… (more)
Member:paulrvdloeff
Title:Vrij opgroeien aan het einde van de geschiedenis
Authors:Lea Ypi
Info:Amsterdam De Bezige Bij 2021
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Albanië

Work Information

Free: A Child and a Country at the End of History by Lea Ypi (2021)

  1. 00
    Lamerica [1994 film] by Gianni Amelio (pitjrw)
    pitjrw: Both set in Albania during the 1990's transition from communism. Both call out the West's hypocrisy of encouraging Albanians to flee when they could not and later treating them horribly when they did actually flee.
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
Interesting look at life in an unfamiliar setting to most Americans. Lea Ypi recalls growing up in Albania before, during and after her country threw off its Marxist government in the 1990s. I found the descriptions of everyday life in her native country as a young person curiously strange compared to what her contemporaries must have experienced in Western Europe and the USA. Recommended for this aspect of her memoir. ( )
  GarryRagan | Feb 18, 2022 |
My knowledge of Albania was, until reading this, almost non existent. This historical memoir begins when Lea is a child, totally convinced that her country under communism was free. She was taught in school to revere Enver Hosta and couldn't understand why her family, unlike other famous, didn't have a framed picture of him. She couldn't understand why her biography, actually status, wasn't as promise nent as her classmates. She wouldn't find out the answer to her questions until the death of their leader, and the protests for true freedom that followed.

An interesting book that shows a country fighting for democracy, the challenges faced and how things changed, for not only her family, but for the country as a whole. She finds out the many secrets her family kept, and that their political views had been different from those they were forced to expouse.
I loved how this started when she was young because one can chart her personal and political evolution. As her country changed so did she. ( )
  Beamis12 | Feb 6, 2022 |
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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
'Mensen maken geen geschiedenis omdat ze dat
willen. Maar ze maken wel geschiedenis.'
- Rose Luxembur
Dedication
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Ter nagedachtenis aan mijn grootmoeder
Leman Ypi (Nini), 1918-2006
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Ik heb me nooit afgevraagd wat vrijheid eigenlijk inhield, tot de dag dat ik Stalin omhelsde.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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WINNER OF THE ONDAATJE PRIZE THE SUNDAY TIMES MEMOIR OF THE YEAR 'Wonderfully funny and poignant. . . a tale of family secrets and political awakening amid a crumbling regime. One of the nonfiction titles of the year' Luke Harding, Observer 'We never lose our inner freedom; the freedom to do what is right' Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it was home. People were equal, neighbours helped each other, and children were expected to build a better world. There was community and hope. Then, in December 1990, everything changed. The statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled. Almost overnight, people could vote freely, wear what they liked and worship as they wished. There was no longer anything to fear from prying ears. But factories shut, jobs disappeared and thousands fled to Italy on crowded ships, only to be sent back. Predatory pyramid schemes eventually bankrupted the country, leading to violent conflict. As one generation's aspirations became another's disillusionment, and as her own family's secrets were revealed, Lea found herself questioning what freedom really meant. Free is an engrossing memoir of coming of age amid political upheaval. With acute insight and wit, Lea Ypi traces the limits of progress and the burden of the past, illuminating the spaces between ideals and reality, and the hopes and fears of people pulled up by the sweep of history. WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, FINANCIAL TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, TLS, DAILY MAIL, NEW STATESMAN AND SPECTATOR

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