To the heart of hidden lives
Introduction by Maire Holmes
Ndrek Gjini’s core is Albanian. His vision promotes peace. His book, ‘In Death’s Queue’, engages the reader to the heart of hidden lives and introduces us to other souls. His personal sense of aesthetic reveals truth, beauty and love; illuminated here with powerful insight by using the dark contradictory opposite: calumniations, distortions and indifference flourish, showing scenes of retaliation. The following harrowing stories are showered with empathy. Knowing about the Kanun is painful, it is a practice carried out to this day. Death by the ritual of Kanun has been and remains the fate of many innocent people. Gjini’s style of writing encourages the reader to reflect. He places each true story in location, time and situation. He draws us immediately into the conflict, both historic and personal. Shame and honour are like victorious flags, strangling each other, to make honour glorious. To feel honour, one must not be shamed; what remains uppermost in the mind of this Irish reader; is the shame of what it means to be honourable.
The loss of life and promotion of this custom brings fear to families. In the aftermath, destroyed hopes, unfinished dreams and lives are cut short. It amounts to toxic pride, particularly for those who act in revenge. Counting bodies, leave us turning pages in a book as we sink into a world of deep distrust. It is a haunting impression of an ancient shadow. Read more