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First published by André Deutsch Ltd 1993
Under the long dictatorship of Enver Hoxha each Albanian citizen had a "biografi" - literally an account of their suitability as good socialists. A miscreant relative, a revisionist friend or acquaintance could lead to alterations in a person's "biografi" and often imprisonment. Lloyd Jones became fascinated with Albania through a weird neighbour who was an officially-designated "Friend of Tirana". He visited the country after Hoxha's death, and happened upon a pathetic figure, a dentist who had been kidnapped 30 years previously and was made to live his life as Hoxha's double. With his leader dead he was trying to find his way back to his old village but his extraordinary resemblance to the mad dictator meant many people wanted to kill him - or else believed that Hoxha had never died at all. Jones accompanied him on his sad, last journey and learnt about the extraordinary system of repression through official biography on the way.
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