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By: Namik Dokle

The Girls of Fog

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At the end of the world, or in the middle of nowhere, there is a small village called Bukojna. It is located in Gora, a province of Albania inhabited by an ethnic minority called the Gorani. They speak their own unique language, tell their own legends, follow their own rites and customs, and are believed to be of Bogomil origins. According to the legends, in Bukojna, the sun rises twice every day and the moon sets twice every dawn.


The ancient settlement has also welcomed more inhabitants of various origins, from the good-looking Vlachs and the knowledgeable Jews to the brave and proud highlanders. It is a village where “men of turn grey when still children and see better at night than at daylight,” as Majka, a supposedly 300-year-old woman forgotten by death, says.


It is precisely in this microcosm of the Albanian Gora - where the obligatory norms of a new life stipulated by the dictatorship of the proletariat try to enroot themselves with the ruthlessness and harshness that characterized the fifties – that the novel’s events are narrated through the scrutinizing and suspicious outlook of a child.


The violent attempt to uproot a person’s memory, their identity, turns into savageness towards everything that is human, including the ownership of the land, the use of pastures in the border area, the celebration of St. George, wedding customs, Majka’s prayers, the song of the girls.

Namik Dokle, journalist, dramaturge, prose writer.


He is the author of several collections of short stories, some of which have been incorporated in various anthologies. However, as the author of three collections with plays, he is better known as a playwright. In fact, eight of his fourteen plays have been successfully staged and performed for long periods in the theaters of the country. Dokle has also been awarded national and international prizes for some of them. Additionally, his six radio dramas have all been performed on Radio Tirana.


Yet, in recent years, his literary contribution has mostly been in the genre of the novel. He has already published four: Vajzat e mjegulles (The Girls of Fog), Lulet e skajbotes (The Flowers of World’s Edge), Ditet e lakuriqeve te nates (The Days of the Bats), Kolerë në kohë të dashurisë (Cholera in the Time of Love). Dokle’s novels have also been translated and have attained significant success in Bosnian, Turkish, Bulgarian and Spanish languages.

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