New edition of Oliver Friggieri's autobiography
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New edition of Oliver Friggieri's autobiography

Klabb Kotba Maltin has just published a new edition of Oliver Friggieri's autobiography Fjuri Li Ma Jinxfux.

The first edition of the book was sold out within a few months, a spokesman for the publishers says. Its 800 pages comprise an autobiographical account and memories of Prof. Friggieri covering the period 1955-1990. It narrates numerous personal and family experiences as well as political events dominated by such contrasting figures like Dom Mintoff, Ġorġ Borg Olivier, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, Eddie Fenech Adami, Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, Guido de Marco and Alfred Sant, whom the author recalls in detail in terms of personal acquaintance.

The book also recalls the author's earliest encounter with Archbishop Michael Gonzi, to whom he dedicates numerous pages.

Of particular significance are the sections in which he narrates how he eventually discussed the whole turbulent period with Mr Mintoff himself, who had initially provoked him to write the novel Fil-Parlament ma Jikbrux Fjuri (1986) by stating that "Whoever did not have anything to do could just write a book".

After reconstructing in detail the encounter between Mr Mintoff's Labour Party and Archbishop's Gonzi Catholic Church in the 1960s as he himself lived it as a member of the Christian doctrine society MUSEUM and a seminarian studying for the priesthood, Prof. Friggieri narrates his own direct experience of the conflict between Mr Mintoff and the University of Malta, starting in about 1977 following a meeting between the academic staff and Mr Mintoff himself at Castille.

He also narrates what unauthorised personal initiatives he took to re-establish contacts between the Labout government and the University when all relations had been severed.

Prof. Friggieri has this to say about hsi work: "The book is an effort in describing how Malta, a British ex-colony, succeeded in avoiding the horrible troubles other ex-colonies went true, including civil war. Malta has been more than once on the verge of a civil conflict and this is a personal conclusion determined by what I consider to be the most essential aspect of Maltese life, namely, class distinction.

"The whole volume is exclusively based on memories. I have sought to describe all this in detail, relying on memory since I have always been there, whenever events occured in the 1960s and 1970s. I am just trying to revive memories, to unearth their inherent drama and to write on behalf of so many people unsung, unacknowledged, who have been there, have given their share and are perhaps no more. It is the story of an independent state, tiny and complete, in the making."

Prof. Friggieri is the author of numerous books, more than 30 of which have been published in numerous contries. He writes in Maltese, English and Italian and is a regular contributor to various foreign academic journals.

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