Gazmend Kapllani is an Albanian-born journalist, poet, and writer. His works of fiction, A Short Border Handbook (Portobello Books, 2009) and My Name is Europe [in Greek] (Livanis, 2010), explore how totalitarianism, immigration, borders, and Balkan history have shaped private lives and personal narratives. He has been living in Greece for the past 20 years and writing his novels in Greek, which is not his mother tongue.
At Radcliffe, Kapllani will conduct research and write a new novel that will focus on the parallel lives of two important protagonists in modern Albanian history: the communist dictator Enver Hoxha and Albania's first female writer, Musine Kokalari, who was exiled and imprisoned by Hoxha's regime.
Kapllani's best-selling novel A Short Border Handbook has been translated into Danish, English, French, and Polish, receiving excellent reviews in major European newspapers and magazines such as the British dailies the Independent and the Guardian and the French magazine Marianne. It was also short-listed for the London-based John D. Criticos Prize. His second novel, My Name is Europe, has been highly acclaimed by the Greek press and will be published in French by December 2012. He received his PhD in political science and history from Panteion University in Athens, with a dissertation on the image of Albanians in the Greek press and of Greeks in the Albanian press. Through his work as an author and a columnist for leading Greek newspapers, Kapllani has been an advocate for human rights, fairness, and diversity, receiving Greek and international recognition.