Albania slams EL James’ latest sex novel as ‘unrealistic’

‘Fifty Shades’ author EL James faces furious backlash over her ‘negative’ and ‘totally unrealistic’ portrayal of Albanians as gangsters and sex slaves in latest erotic novel

  • The Fifty Shades author’s new book depicts a poor, trafficked Albanian cleaner
  • She marvels at life in the UK including a ‘clever phone’ and ‘magic’ bank cards
  • Albanian envoy Qirjako Qirko slammed it for creating ‘negative perceptions’ 

The latest erotic novel by EL James has sparked a diplomatic row as Albania’s envoy to the UK complained about his country’s portrayal. 

The Fifty Shades of Grey author’s new book, The Mister, depicts a poor Albanian cleaner as a victim of gangsters and sex trafficking, who marvels at life in the UK.  

As she strikes up a romance with an English aristocrat she marvels at ‘clever phones’ and the ‘magic card’ he uses to withdraw money. 

Qirjako Qirko, the Albanian ambassador in London, said the book showed his fictional countrymen as primitive criminals and created ‘negative perceptions’. 

Fifty Shades author EL James (pictured left last week) has sparked a diplomatic row as Albania’s ambassador to the UK Qirjako Qirko (right) criticised her new book The Mister

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, he said the portrayal of Albanians in the book was ‘totally unrealistic’.

He said: ‘I am really sorry that there is a novel with this information that creates such negative perceptions for my country.

‘Albanians are the best people you will meet in your life, the most friendly.’

Mr Qirko said there were 120,000 Albanians in Britain but said any criminals among them were ‘just some individuals’. 

In the book the Albanian character, Alessia Demachi, works as a cleaner in an aristocratic home after she was trafficked into the UK. 

She also faces violent pressure from her father to marry her fiancé who wants her to be a ‘traditional Albanian wife’. 

EL James’ new novel, The Mister (left), comes after the success of her bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey (right) which was followed by two sequels and two spin-offs

Albanian tourism bosses have tried to boost their country’s reputation with a campaign entitled ‘Taken By Albania’. 

The title is a reference to the film Taken in which the daughter of Liam Neeson’s character is kidnapped by Albanian smugglers. 

Tourism officials acknowledge that Albania has been seen as a ‘haven for thugs, criminals, and gangsters’ in popular culture. 

But they insist the country’s reputation is ‘wholly untrue’, saying Albania is a ‘beautiful and incredibly safe place to visit and live’.

They characterise the country as Europe’s last ‘defender of the rugged’ on a continent that has otherwise been ‘tamed and explored’.  

British writer James, 56, shot to fame with her three Fifty Shades books, and two follow-up from protagonist Christian Grey’s point of view.     

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