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Reviews

  • A probing personal history, poignant and moving. A young life unfolding amidst great historical change - ideology, war, loss, uncertainty. This is history brought memorably and powerfully to life

    Tara Westover, author of Educated
  • A lyrical memoir, of deep and affecting power, of the sweet smell of humanity mingled with flesh, blood and hope

    Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
  • Free is astonishing. Lea Ypi has a natural gift for storytelling. It brims with life, warmth, and texture, as well as her keen intelligence. A gripping, often hilarious, poignant, psychologically acute masterpiece and the best book I've read so far this year

    Olivia Sudjic, author of Asylum Road
  • Lea Ypi's teenage journey through the endtimes of Albanian communism tells a universal story: ours is an age of collapsed illusions for many generations. Written by one of Europe's foremost left-wing thinkers, this is an unmissable book for anyone engaged in the politics of resistance

    Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism
  • This extraordinary coming-of-age story is like an Albanian Educated but it is so much more than that. It beautifully brings together the personal and the political to create an unforgettable account of oppression, freedom and what it means to acquire knowledge about the world. Funny, moving but also deadly serious, this book will be read for years to come

    David Runciman, author of How Democracy Ends
  • A new classic that bursts out of the global silence of Albania to tell us human truths about the politics of the past hundred years. . . It unfolds with revelation after revelation - both familial and national - as if written by a master novelist. As if it were, say, a novella by Tolstoy. That this very serious book is so much fun to read is a compliment to its graceful, witty, honest writer. A literary triumph

    Amy Wilentz, author of Farewell, Fred Voodoo
  • Illuminating and subversive, Free asks us to consider what happens to our ideals when they come into contact with imperfect places and people and what can be salvaged from the wreckage of the past

    Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
  • A young girl grows up in a repressive Communist state, where public certainties are happily accepted and private truths are hidden; as that world falls away, she has to make her own sense of life, based on conflicting advice, fragments of information and, above all, her own stubborn curiosity. Thought-provoking, deliciously funny, poignant, sharply observed and beautifully written, this is a childhood memoir like very few others -- a really marvellous book

    Noel Malcolm, author of Agents of Empire
  • Free is one of those very rare books that shows how history shapes people's lives and their politics. Lea Ypi is such a brilliant, powerful writer that her story becomes your story

    Ivan Krastev, author of The Light that Failed
  • Lea Ypi is a pathbreaking philosopher who is also becoming one of the most important public thinkers of our time. Here she draws on her unique historical experience to shed new light on the questions of freedom that matter to all of us. This extraordinary book is both personally moving and politically revolutionary. If we take its lessons to heart, it can help to set us free

    Martin Hägglund, author of This Life

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