A native of Tirana, Ornela Vorpsi studied fine arts in her hometown before leaving Albania during the turmoil of 1991. Exiled in Milan and then Paris until the late ‘90s, she turned her attention to art, and in particular photography (Nothing Obvious, Scalo Editions, 2001).
Le pays où l’on ne meurt jamais, (The country where no one ever dies) a raw and lucid fable about the Albanian dictatorship published by Actes Sud in 2004, is Vorpsi’s first novel.
It received numerous prizes, notably the prestigious Grinzane Cavour and Viareggio prizes. She then joined forces with artist Mat Collishaw in an artist’s book published by Editions Take5. Vorpsi’s text Vetri Rosa (Pink Shards) was republished by Actes Sud a year later. In 2005, her Buvez du cacao Van Houten (Drink Van Houten cocoa) made a big splash. Since 2007 she’s consolidated her place in the literary scene with a novel on exile, Vert venin (Poison green). Her 2012 novel Ci-gît l’amour fou (Here lies mad love, Actes Sud), delves poetically into the torments of passion, and Tu convoiteras (Gallimard, 2014), the torments of motherhood and desire.