BOOK TITLES



Open Roads and Secret Destinations
Travel Essays from Europe (France, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Austria, Greece etc)
(bi-lingual English/Romanian)
£7.99
ISBN 978 606 13 2844 4
Published by Bibliotheca Universalis, Bucharest, 2016























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Every Shade of Blue: Travels with a Musician
Travel Journals in Europe and USA
£6.99
ISBN 978 0 9927233 3 0
Published by Kairos, 2015


 





















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The Definition of Happiness
Poetry Collection (bi-lingual English/Romanian)
£7.99 
ISBN 978 606 13 2385 2
Published by Bibliotheca Universalis, Bucharest, 2015
























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Tirana Papers: An Albanian Journal
Travel Essays
£6.99
ISBN 978 0 9552896 9 9
Published by Kairos 2013
Available here

 
In 2000 Edi Rama, then mayor of Tirana (later to become Prime Minister) described the city as being 'like a medieval tavern'. Albania had recently emerged from a repressive communist regime followed by civil breakdown after the collapse of pyramid schemes. In 2000, streets are full of potholes, overflowing rubbish bins are set alight, and while some buildings are bulldozed, tower blocks are growing in vacant lots as fast as magic beanstalks. Foreigners working in Tirana are advised not to go out in the unlit streets at night, as a significant proportion of the population are armed. 

From the history of brigand ruler Ali Pasha, to the ‘semi-divine’ nature of the guest laid down in the Kanun, Albanian myth and folklore live on in the present day. In Tirana Papers we discover the mountains of the Via Egnatia, the coast of the limpid Ionian Sea, the old Ottoman houses of Gjirokaster and the classical ruins of Butrint. 

While today's Tirana has green parks, smooth roads and bright lights, its streets full of cafés, shops and restaurants, in Tirana Papers we encounter Albania's capital in its brief time of transition, a city edged with chaos, rumour and danger.




This book captures the mood of Albania, certainly 
Robert Carver, author of The Accursed Mountains



Excerpt from The Via Egnatia and the Other Reality
 
On the way back from Elbasan Gramoz, our driver, stops and buys some purple flowers. The clouds have gone, the sun is out. Some of the peaks, still capped with snow, are dazzling in this light. We seem to be higher up than everything that’s visible.

In Tirana, the evening sunlight catches pieces of buildings, clutches at them, in some rosy sense of memory – walls turn deep and mysterious, puddles become wells of gold and the few soft, green-feathered branches of drifting trees, shine in the evening glow. We drive slowly through the narrow back lanes, swaying up and down with each pothole.

In the twilight, when I walk down the steps from the office, a rat saunters across the path below. Mattresses, chairs, boots, tiles, and pieces of wood are piled up in the river.

An old woman, bent over from a huge sack piled on her back, rummages through the litter bin. The water from the broken pipe has filled the hole in the street and overflowed into the road. Two boys float toy boats, tied to string, on the murky lake that the road has turned into. In the rooster street, with the thin strip of muddy, rubbish-clogged yard, where the hens and roosters peck, a scrawny tree has burst into white blossom, a sudden spillage of emotion, a rustle of light against the flaky grey grime of the buildings.




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Gold Tracks, Fallen Fruit, a Quinta Journal 
Poetry and images 
published in 2011 by Cestrian Press 
ISBN 
£6.50






















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Time Loop
novel published in 2010 by Playback Editions
ISBN 978-0-9558905-2-9
£10


Set partly in 13th century France and partly in fin de siecle (20th century) Scotland, the novel explores the effects on people who unexpectedly tapped into Cathar knowledge. The Cathars lived in south-west France, the Languedoc, in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Roman Church called them heretics and, together with the then King of France, waged a crusade against them. The castle of Monsegur was the last Cathar castle to be besieged by the crusaders, in 1244. But at the end of the 20th century, Helga finds that the past has its own purposes, surfacing in the present.


Excerpt from Time Loop



















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The Way Words Travel
poetry collection published in 2005 by UK Author Press
ISBN 1-904781-46-2
£7.99



Excerpt from The Way Words Travel





















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Streets of Tirana, Almost Spring
short story collection, published 2004 by Ora (bi-lingual English/Albanian)
ISBN 99927-940-6-2



Excerpt from Streets of Tirana, Almost Spring






















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Deepwater Terminal -
poetry collection published in 1998 by diehard
ISBN 0-946230-57-9
£4.90












Excerpts from Deepwater Terminal

Highland

Snow on the high mountains
is smoothed by the wind.
the white folds of winter
fray into yellow grass
and sleeping heather.

There is no tree between me and the mountain.
Only the wind combing the marsh grass.

A ledge of snow forms a step to the house
and the sunlight trips, on its way to the ground.