By Clarissa de Waal
This new publication examines Albania's transition from Communism through the reports of a various variety of households, highland villagers, city elite, shanty dwellers--Clarissa de Wall has the lives of Albanians there due to the fact that 1992. As such, this can be a history--of fiscal, social and political change--told from the viewpoint of the contributors. We see how a ways the archaic global of familiar legislation maintains to pervade highland lifestyles, from dispute payment to prepared marriages. even as, the writer indicates us contributors of the ex-communist elite in Tirana embracing rentier capitalism, whereas squatters on country farmland reside lower than consistent danger of eviction. Albania, the writer indicates, is a rustic wracked via contradictions: in flight from its Communists earlier and but nonetheless beholden to its rural traditions; prepared to embody loose markets yet with out foregoing the safety of principal making plans. I.B.Tauris in organization with the Centre for Albanian stories
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Extra resources for Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence
Our block, one of several built expressly for loyal communists, was right in the centre of Tirana. The ﬁlthy staircases with their chipped and broken steps, smashed windows and wrenched-out light ﬁttings looked war torn. At the end of our third ﬂoor corridor there was some aesthetic relief where the window with its jagged remnant of glass looked over one storey yellow houses with red tiled roofs - picturesque, if shabby, villagey looking houses in narrow alley ways - a welcome if incongruous antidote to cement high rise.
Prices of those few items still being manufactured or imported had increased enormously, though the government had ﬁxed the prices of certain basic staples such as bread, sugar, macaroni and rice. These had not changed since Hoxha’s time. But guaranteed prices did not mean that these goods were always obtainable. Sometimes there was no bread because there was no ﬂour, sometimes there was no bread because there was no fuel for the bakery oven. After the ﬁrst visit, we went on our own and quite often spent a night or more in one of the villages.
They also, like us, tended to slip salt, pepper and anything they had not felt hungry for into their cases; they knew the limits of the food shops too. Tirana airport, at the time a charming Italianate garden with cypresses and ﬂowering shrubs, was the last well-kempt sight. The rutted road to Tirana between dusty ﬁelds was rather empty apart from the occasional bicycle, some bony-shouldered cows, the odd pot-hole and one or two ancient lorries. The city itself in 1992 was dirtier than any South American slum I have ever seen.
Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence by Clarissa de Waal