‘Internationals’ makes Norwegian debut

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 21, 2017 12:59

romanTIRANA, Aug. 21 – A decade after its original publication, Ylljet Aliçka’s satirical novel on the international community in Albania is turning more and more international after its recent English version launch and its upcoming movie premiere.

The novel by Albanian writer and former diplomat Ylljet Aliçka has recently been published in Norwegian, adding to its international success after the initial French translation and the late 2016 English version published the R&Z Tirana Times publishing house.

Translated by Jon Kværne, by the book was brought into Norwegian by Bokvennen, one of Norway’s most prestigious publishing houses as “File 12 Tirana – A story with Internationals.”

“The novel describes life in one of the international diplomatic offices settled in the post-1990s Albania, to bring the country on track to progress after several generations lost in the dictatorship regime. The thing is about irony that often shifts into bitter sarcasm which the author uses to ‘weave’ the contrast between the internationals’ noble ideals and their everyday routine in the grey offices,” says the Norwegian publisher.

“It seems that Ylljet Aliçka has had long experience with the internationals,  no matter how much you laugh and entertain yourself with the diplomatic careers of international workers, one can’t be indifferent to the bitter truth when stripped of the cover of this novel’s fiction content,” adds the publisher.

“Arrivism to climb the career steps is the absolute priority of the international staff or somebody who quietly and unnoticed manages to take a seat next to the ambassador in his diplomatic car. We encounter the diplomat who makes important diplomatic decisions, under the excitement of pure feelings of love… Meanwhile, another diplomat prefers picking in full secrecy the ripe fruit of the representation’s front garden rather than falling victim to “the crazy local prices.” For some others, the crazy office working hours serve to compile strict regulations on the temperature of sheets coming out of photocopier…!” the Bokvennen writes, highlighting some of the novel’s comic situations.

The novel has also recently been made into a film whose “An Expats’ Tale” trailer has already been launched.

In an interview with Europa magazine, a publication of the Albanian Institute for International Studies, the former Albanian ambassador to France says the novel’s characters include international officials, who, often anonymous at their home countries, upon arriving to Albania, after “struggling to help this country or tell locals the way to progress,” their life takes a new meaning thanks to the “indigenous” taking care and welcoming them. “This is the reason why many of the internationals cannot leave or grow so desperate when they finally leave Albania,” says Aliçka, 65, a university professor who served as Albania’s ambassador to France from 2007 to 2013.

The Tirana Times publishing house says it chose to republish the book for the unusual echo and attention it attracted and because of the topic it treats and its quality that made the writer and diplomat go beyond the borders of small country such as Albania by being published in France, most recently in Norway and already underway of getting published in Italy.


Also read: The Internationals: When ‘elite’ arrogance meets ignorance http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=130456


Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 21, 2017 12:59