Image of the author Aleks Farrugia.
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Aleks Farrugia (1978) is an author, historian and journalist. His first work was a drama, Iħirsa fil-Mera. His debut novel Grasshopper (2016) was shortlisted for the National Book Prize. His short story collection, Għall-Glorja tal-Patrija (2019), secured him the prize in that category in 2020, while his second novel Camerata! (2021) was also shortlisted. Ir-Re Borg (The King of Malta), published in 2022, is his latest novel. Farrugia is Director (Culture) at Culture Directorate and Site Manager for Valletta as UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

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Ir-Re Borg (The King of Malta)

Mikiel Borg, the grocer known as ‘Iċ-Chopper', transforms from a village debater to an unlikely political disruptor in Aleks Farrugia's ‘Ir-Re Borg’. After a trivial incident forces him to face Malta's bureaucratic institutions, Mikiel battles profound depression until a media binge sparks an idea. He launches 'The Monarchical Party of Malta,' challenging the two-party system. Despite initial skepticism, Mikiel wins the election, becoming a populist firebrand. However, a viral video stains his triumph, marking the start of a dramatic downfall. Farrugia's satirical narrative delves into Maltese politics, featuring Machiavellian manoeuvres, the unlikely social ascent of Mikiel’s band club drinking buddies, all framed against the nuts and bolts of the Maltese electoral campaign and its fallout. Mikiel's flaws mirror the nation's, adding depth to the tragicomedy, inviting readers to ponder populist movements and the challenges of positive change.

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