Fatos Lubonja is an Albanian writer who spent a total of 17 years in prisons and forced labour camps during Enver Hoxha's regime. He is the author of a number of books which have been translated into Italian, German, English and Polish. Among other prizes he received the Alberto Moravia Prize for International Literature in 2002 and the Herder Prize for Literature in 2004. John Hodgson studied English at Cambridge and Newcastle and has taught at universities in the Republic of Kosovo and Albania. His translation of Ismail Kadare's The Three-Arched Bridge was published by the Harvill Press.
'Second Sentence reports from Albania, from the communist era. As ever the grimness of the tale is made endurable by the courage and wit of the prisoners. What wonderful people the communist regimes everywhere persecuted, or murdered. It is as if what they wanted to extinguish was simply excellence.' - Doris Lessing; 'Fatos Lubonja reveals the dark heart of Stalinist Albania in an unparalleled account of prison life and human dignity in a political system that knew no mercy. Second Sentence offers a rare glimpse into the workings of the Enver Hoxha dictatorship. It is a moving story of resistance and survival that only Lubonja could tell.' - Robert Elsie; 'The opening descriptions read like a novel (and of course, Lubonja is also a novelist)...Fatos Lubonja's book is the first account that has been translated into English, of someone's personal experience of their trial and imprisonment, and it is both terrifying and absorbing. As well as Lubonja's spare and lucid descriptions, its testimony rests on the factual data from records of the trial. We will now never forget the courage and eloquence of the principal man on trial, Fadil Kokomani. For his words alone, this book is important.' - Morelle Smith, The Albanian