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The new book from the winner of the inaugural International Man Booker Prize is a modern-day love story of powerful obsession set against the background of dark political intrigue.On the autobahn in Vienna a taxi leaves the carriageway and strikes the crash barrier, flinging its male and female passengers out of its back doors as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple in the back seat seemed to be about to kiss . . .Set against the tumultuous backdrop of war and its aftermath in the Balkans, The Accident intimately documents an affair between two people caught in each other's webs. The investigation into their deaths uncovers a mutually destructive obsession that mirrors the conflicts of the region. A destabilizing mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, Ismail Kadare's new novel is a bold and fascinating departure.From the Hardcover edition.
From Man Booker International Prize winner Ismail Kadare comes a dizzying psychological thriller of twisted passions, dual identities, and political subterfuge. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the war in the Balkans, The Accident closely documents an affair between two young lovers.On a rainy morning in Vienna, a taxi pulls onto the autobahn only to crash into the median barrier moments later, hurling its two passengers-a man and a woman-from the backseat as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple seemed to be about to kiss.As the investigation into their deaths deepens, a lonely researcher will uncover a mutually destructive relationship that blurs the line between fact and fiction, fear and desire, and love and fixation over the course of twelve years. An alluring mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, The Accident is a fever dream of a novel that marks a bold and fascinating departure from Kadare's previous work.
Psychologically incisive and impeccably crafted, Agamemnon's Daughter tells the crushing story of passion shattered by a heartless regime. Once again, Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of oppression, drawing us back to the ancient roots of Western civilization and tyranny.This collection also showcases two masterful stories: "The Blinding Order," a parable about the uses of terror in the Ottoman Empire, and "The Great Wall," a chilling duet between a Chinese official and a soldier in the invading army of the great conqueror, Tamerlane.
Gjorg is a young mountaineer who (much against his will) has just killed a man in order to avenge the death of his older brother, and who expects to be killed himself in accordance with the Code that regulates life in the Albanian highlands. A young couple on their honeymoon has come to this place to study its age-old customs-including the blood feud. In Broken April, Ismail Kadare intersects the fates of both Gjorg and the young couple with visions of an unending cycle of obligatory murder and the horrifying effects it has on their respective lives.
"Chronicle in Stone is epic in its simplicity; the history of a young Albanian and a primitive Albania awakening into the modern world." --Michael Dregni, Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Masterful in its simplicity, Chronicle in Stone is a touching coming-of-age story and a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit. Surrounded by the magic of beautiful women and literature, a boy must endure the deprivations of war as he suffers the hardships of growing up. His sleepy country has just thrown off centuries of tyranny, but new waves of domination inundate his city. Through the boy's eyes, we see the terrors of World War II as he witnesses fascist invasions, allied bombings, partisan infighting, and the many faces of human cruelty-as well as the simple pleasures of life. Evacuating to the countryside, he expects to find an ideal world full of extraordinary things, but discovers instead an archaic backwater where a severed arm becomes a talisman and deflowered girls mysteriously vanish. Woven between the chapters of the boy's story are tantalizing fragments of the city's history. As the devastation mounts, the fragments lose coherence, and we perceive firsthand how the violence of war destroys more than just buildings and bridges.
An old woman is awoken in the dead of night by knocks at her front door. She opens it to find her daughter, Doruntine, standing there alone in the darkness. She has been brought home from a distant land by a mysterious rider she claims is her brother Konstandin. But unbeknownst to her, Konstandin has been dead for years. What follows is chain of events which plunges an Albanian village into fear and mistrust. Who is the ghost rider?
June 28, 1389: Six hundred years before Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic called for the repression of the Albanian majority in Kosovo, there took place, on the Field of the Blackbirds, a battle shrouded in legend. A coalition of Serbs, Albanian Catholics, Bosnians, and Romanians confronted and were defeated by the invading Ottoman army of the Sultan Murad. This battle established the Muslim foothold in Europe and became the centerpiece of Serbian nationalist ideology, justifying the campaign of ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars that the world witnessed with horror at the end of the past century. In this eloquent and timely reflection on war, memory, and the destiny of two peoples, Ismail Kadare explores in fiction the legend and the consequences of that defeat. Elegy for Kosovo is a heartfelt yet clear-eyed lament for a land riven by hatreds as old as the Homeric epics and as young as the latest news broadcast.
June 28, 1389: Six hundred years before Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic called for the repression of the Albanian majority in Kosovo, there took place, on the Field of the Blackbirds, a battle shrouded in legend. A coalition of Serbs, Albanian Catholics, Bosnians, and Rumanians confronted and fell to the invading Ottoman army of Sultan Murad. The battle established the Muslim foothold in Europe and became a centerpiece of Serbian nationalist ideology, justifying the campaign of ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars that the world witnessed with horror at the end of the last century. In this eloquent and timely reflection on war, memory, and the destiny of two peoples, Ismail Kadare explores in fiction the legend and the consequences of that defeat. Elegy for Kosovo is a heartfelt yet clear-eyed lament for a land riven by hatreds as old as the Homeric epics and as young as the latest news broadcast.
It is 1943, and the Second World War is ravaging Europe. Mussolini decides to pull out of his alliance with the Nazis, and withdraws the Italian troops occupying Albania. Soon after, Nazi forces invade Albania from occupied Greece. The first settlement in their path is the ancient stone city of Gjirokastër, an Albanian stronghold since the fourteenth century. The townsfolk have no choice but to surrender to the Nazis, but are confused when they see that one of the town's residents, a certain Dr. Gurameto, seems to be showing the invading Nazi Colonel great hospitality. That evening, strains of Schubert from the doctor's gramophone waft out into the cobbled streets of the city, and the sounds of a dinner party are heard. The sudden disappearance of the Nazis the next morning leaves the town wondering if they might have dreamt the events of the previous night. But as Albania moves into a period of occupation by the Nazis, and then is taken over by the communists, Dr. Gurameto is forced to answer for what happened on the evening of the Nazi's invasion, and finally explain the events of that long, strange night.Dealing with themes of resistance in a dictatorship, and steeped in Albanian folklore and legend, The Fall of the Stone City shows Kadare at the height of his powers.
The story is about an Italian and a German general, both of whom have been sent to Albania twenty years after the war to dig up the remains of their dead soldiers and return them for burial in their native land. This is a most unlikely happening, for the Communist government is deeply suspicious of all foreigners, potentially spies, let alone two generals. The book, however, alternates between fiction and authenticity.
"Ismail Kadare is one of Europe's most consistently interesting and powerful contemporary novelists, a writer whose stark, memorable prose imprints itself on the reader's consciousness. " --Los Angeles Times An old woman is awoken in the dead of night by knocks at her front door. The woman opens it to find her daughter, Doruntine, standing there alone in the darkness. She has been brought home from a distant land by a mysterious rider she claims is her brother Konstandin. But unbeknownst to her, Konstandin has been dead for years. What follows is chain of events which plunges a medieval village into fear and mistrust. Who is the ghost rider?
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.
Ismail Kadare's The Siege dramatizes a relentless fictional assault on a Christian fortress in the Albanian mountains by the Ottoman Army in the fifteenth century. As the bloody and psychologically crushing struggle for control over the citadel unfolds, Kadare's newest work opens a window onto the eternal clash between religions and empires as well as the exhilaration, despair, and immediacy of the battlefield.Kadare is a hugely respected novelist and a hero to his people, as well as an outspoken critic of all forms of totalitarianism. The Siege is a "powerfully atmospheric . . . and vividly rendered" (The Telegraph) novel of considerable cumulative power and resonance for our own times.
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 small town at the foot of the northern highlands in Albania, a decade after the fall of the Communist regime, the harsh blood-for-blood law of the fearsome Kanun mountain folk is emerging from hibernation, like everything else that was forbidden under the fifty years of Communist rule. Mysterious happenings that are two thousand years old, two centuries old, or even just two years old reemerge in daily life. The marriage of a girl and a snake is not just a legend but a news item-a cyclical event that is as much part of the modern world as of the ancient one. Set against this Kafkaesque backdrop, a simple and sensual love story between a painter and a young woman stands out as light against dark. With its rich and somber story of local traditions and universal themes, Spring Flowers, Spring Frost is a masterpiece belonging to Kadare's purest classical vein.
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.
A powerful political novel based on the sudden, mysterious death of the man who had been handpicked to succeed the hated Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? That is the burning question. The man who died by his own hand, or another's, was Mehmet Shehu, the presumed heir to the ailing dictator. So sure was the world that he was next in line, he was known as The Successor.And then, shortly before Shehu was to assume power, he was found dead. The Successor is simultaneously a mystery novel, a historical novel-based on actual events and buttressed by the author's private conversations with the son of the real-life Mehmet Shehu, and a psychological novel. How do you live when nothing is sure?
A new novel from the acclaimed winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize for achievement in fiction. The Successor is a powerful political novel based on the sudden, mysterious death of the man who had been handpicked to succeed the hated Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. The man who died was Mehmet Shehu, the presumed heir to the ailing dictator. The world was so certain that he was next in line that he was known as The Successor. And then, shortly before he was to assume power, he was found dead. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? The Successor is simultaneously a page-turning mystery, a historical novel - based on actual events and buttressed by the author's private conversations with the son of the real-life Mehmet Shehu - and a psychological challenge to the reader to decide, How does one live when nothing is sure? The Successor seamlessly blends dream and reality, legendary past, and contemporary history, and proves again that Kadare stands alongside Marquez, Canetti, and Auster.
In 1958, Kadare was selected to pursue his writing and literary studies as a graduate student in Moscow at the prestigious Gorky Institute for World Literature. Twilight of the Eastern Gods is Kadare's fictionalized recreation of his time spent at this "factory of the intellect," a place created to produce a new generation of poets, novelists, and playwrights, all adhering to the state-sanctioned "socialist realist" aesthetic.During his time at the Gorky Institute, a kind of miniature Soviet Union where writers from deepest Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus all came to study, Kadare was caught up in the furore over Boris Pasternak's Nobel Prize win, when the Soviet Union demanded that Pasternak refuse the foreign, bourgeois award, or be sentenced to exile. Kadare's time at the Institute, the drunken nights, corrupt professors, and enforced aesthetics are fictionalized in a novel that entwines Russian and Albanian myth with history. Twilight of the Eastern Gods is a portrait of a city and a story of youth, disenchantment, and the incredible importance of the written word.
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