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Ismail Kadare once called The Palace of Dreams "the most courageous book I have written; in literary terms, it is perhaps the best". When it was first published in the author's native country, it was immediately banned, and for good reason: the novel revolves around a secret ministry whose task is not just to spy on its citizens, but to collect and interpret their dreams. An entire nation's unconscious is thus tapped and meticulously laid bare in the form of images and symbols of the dreaming mind. The Concert is Kadare's most complete and devastating portrayal of totalitarian rule and mentality. Set in the period when the alliance between Mao's China and Hoxha's Albania was going sour, this brilliant novel depicts a world so sheltered and monotonous that political ruptures and diplomatic crises are what make life exciting.
From the Albanian writer who has been short-listed for the Nobel Prize comes a hypnotic narrative of ancient Egypt, a work that is at once a historical novel and an exploration of the horror of untrammeled state power. It is 2600 BC. The Pharaoh Cheops is inclined to forgo the construction of a pyramid in his honor, but his court sages hasten to persuade him otherwise. The pyramid, they tell him, is not a tomb but a paradox: it keeps the Egyptian people content by oppressing them utterly. The pyramid is the pillar that holds power aloft. If it wavers, everything collapses. And so the greatest pyramid ever begins to rise. It is a monument that crushes dozens of men with the placing of each of its tens of thousands of stones. It is the subject of real and imaginary conspiracies that necessitate ruthless purges and fantastic tortures. It is a monster that will consume all Egypt before it swallows the body of Cheops himself. As told by Ismail Kadare, The Pyramid is a tour de force of Kafkaesque paranoia and Orwellian political prophecy. "A haunting meditation on the matter-of-fact brutality of political despotism." -The New York Times Book Review. "Kadare's prose glimmers with the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez." -Los Angeles Times Book Review. "One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language." -Wall Street Journal.
In the early 15th century, as winter falls away, the people of Albania know that their fate is sealed. Brilliantly vivid, as insightful as it is compelling, "The Siege" is an unforgettable account of the clash of two great civilizations, and a portrait of war that resonates across the centuries.
In a town at the foot of the northern Highlands, life goes on as always, but people are in a state of shock: a bank has been robbed, a sure sign of Westernization in this backward Balkan land. Meanwhile, other strange events--such as the marriage of a girl and a snake--confirm that ancient legends still prevail. People are flocking from far and wide to search for a tunnel to the Secret State Archives, said to house records of crimes they may have committed. Some even claim the ghosts of former dictators Hoxha, Brezhnev, and Ulbricht--not to mention Oedipus--have been seen there. Against this backdrop, a simple and sensual love story between a painter and a girl stands out as light against dark. - Increasingly, Kadare's extraordinary body of work marks him as one of the most important novelists of our time. - Kadare is published in 26 countries around the world, and his reputation continues to grow with very new work. - This work bears comparison with his very best fiction, and has received extraordinary and widespread review attention.
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