Mud Sweeter than Honey
Winner of the Polityka Passport 2019
Shortlisted for the Nike Prize 2019
Excerpted in Granta Magazine
Mud Sweeter than Honey: Voices of Communist Albania is a tale of a country that has suffered from the terror of Enver Hoxha’s dictatorship. After breaking ties with Yugoslavia, the USSR and China, Hoxha thought that Albania could become a self-sufficient bastion of communism. Day by day many Albanian people were thrown into prisons and forced labour camps only because they tried to think independently. Some of them rebelled against the regime, some tried to escape – the consequences of their actions often tragic and irreversible.
Mud Sweeter than Honey is told through the voices of the people who lived in Albania at that time. Their stories create a vivid, dynamic picture of the totalitarian state during the forty years of Enver Hoxha’s ruthless dictatorship. This book describes what it was like for those inside, from the local village leader, to the child genius and his teacher, from brutally crushed uprisings in prison, to failed attempts to cross the border.
Little is written about Albania’s internal situation during the communist times, this is an area of history that still needs to be explored and with these personal tales, Rejmer manages to share the truth about this terrifying and often overlooked period in the country’s history, making her work an important historical resource as well as a gripping piece of reportage. The human stories she collects form a unique portrait of the nation and its suffering.