When Biografi was first published, it was met first with enormous critical acclaim - only to become the centre of a heated controversy. Was it fact or fiction? Had Lloyd Jones concocted his story of life in the new Albania? Or was it travel literature as its publishers insisted?
Equal parts travelogue, political reportage and bizarre mystery novel, Lloyd Jones crosses Albania as it reinvents itself - a volatile, surreal wonderland where nothing is quite as it seems.
Lloyd Jones is the author of ten novels, and is the winner of the Commonwealth Prize, the Montana Medal and the Tasmania Pacific Fiction Prize among others. In 2007, his first book to be published in the UK, Mister Pip, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
Extraordinarily haunting — Daily Telegraph
Seductively realistic — Independent on Sunday
If I had not myself witnessed the lengths to which regimes such as Hoxha's are prepared to go to cheat and deceive, I should have been inclined to dismiss Shapallo's story as fanciful, and Jones as naïve for believing it — A. M. Daniels, Times Literary Supplement
Beautifully written, evocative and deft — Sunday Times
'A compelling hybrid' — Jaen Housham, The Guardian
'Biografi starts big and then zooms in. This is Jones's skill: to draw tiny details that contain the world' — Katy Guest, Independent
'An enlightening read' — Alastair Mabbott, Herald (Glasgow)
A gem of the genre — New York Times Book Review
'Curious and compelling' — Donal O'Donoghue, RTE Guride
'This is a clever, surreal and mysterious read, certainly worth resuscitating' — Zoe Strimpel, City A.M.
PRAISE FOR LLOYD JONES — -
Jones proves sly, engaging, worth-reading and even re-reading — London Review of Books
Being a truthful writer, Jones sees nothing; neither his heroes nor his villains in black and white. His is a bold inquiry into the way that we construct and repair our communities, and ourselves, with stories old and new — The Times
Lloyd Jones gives the tired post-colonial themes of self-reinvention ... a fresh, ingenious twist but his real achievement is bringing life and depth to his characters — Sunday Telegraph
Lloyd Jones brings to life the transformative power of fiction — Sunday Times
'Biografi leaves you wishing that a real-life Shapallo may still show up' — Catherine Shoard, Scotsman