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Free

Free

: Coming of age at the end of history

by Lea Ypi
1st June, 2022

£9.99 £9.99 Save 0% | Paperback

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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE ONDAATJE PRIZE

'The best book I read last year by a mile. . . so beautifully written that anyone would be hooked' Laura Hackett, Sunday Times, Best Summer Books

'Wonderfully funny and poignant. . . a tale of family secrets and political awakening amid a crumbling regime' 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.


THE SUNDAY TIMES MEMOIR OF THE YEAR

WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION


SHORTLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE

CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN, FINANCIAL TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, TLS, DAILY MAIL, NEW STATESMAN AND SPECTATOR

Lea Ypi is a professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics. Her first trade book, Free won the Ondaatje Prize and the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize and the Costa Biography Award. It is being translated into twenty languages.

Details & Specs

Series: Penguin memoir


Author: Lea Ypi


Publisher: Penguin Books


Format: Paperback


ISBN: 9780141995106


Publication Date: 1st June, 2022


Pages: 313


Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


Notes: illustrations (black and white, and colour)


Availability: Available, usually dispatched within 3 days


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