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Broken April
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'By any standard this is a considerable novel' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Ismail Kadare, born in 1936 in the mountain town of Gjirokaster, near the Greek border, is Albania's best-known poet and novelist. Since the appearance of The General of the Dead Army in 1965, Kadare has published scores of stories and novels that make up a panorama of Albanian history linked by a constant meditation on the nature and human consequences of dictatorship. His works brought him into frequent conflict with the authorities from 1945 to 1985. In 1990 he sought political asylum in France, and now divides his time between Paris and Tirana. He is the winner of the first ever Man Booker International Prize.

Reviews

Honeymooners in the mountains of Albania and a young man playing out a blood feud set the stage for this mesmerizing tale. Ordered by his father to obey the mandates of Kanun , or mountain law, Gjorg Berisha kills a a man to avenge the murder of his brother. According to the Kanun , however, it is the right and duty of the slain man's family to murder Gjorg after the bessa , or 30-day truce, expires in mid-April. Gjorg plans to spend the first, ``white'' part of that month as a wanderer, but first must walk to a distant village to pay a ``blood tax'' to the region's ruling family. On the way, he catches the eye of Diana Vorpsis, traveling in the mountains by carriage with her new husband, Bessian. Something about Gjorg, his role in the drama she hears about and his probable death captures Diana's soul. She becomes increasingly withdrawn as she longs to find the young man she has earlier glimpsed, while Gjorg is equally determined to find her and learn of her life before his April turns ``black.'' Thanks to simple prose and engaging details, the Albanian Kadare ( Chronicles in Stone ) makes this story of harsh yet romantic mountain life ring magically true. (Sept.)

His work is as immense as Balzac's, as unrelenting in its critique of dictatorship as Orwell's, and as disturbingly fantastical as Kafka's. It is an invention as well as a reflection of what it means to be Albanian, and an exploration of both the ugliness and the dignity of a small, ancient, oppressed nation. Kadare is perhaps the last 'national writer' of European history * Independent *
Broken April, a haunting account of the paroxism of the vendetta in northern Albania between the wars, is one of the twin peaks of Kadare's career * Observer *
The story is plain, the telling plainer, yet the overall effect is mysterious and elusive as only a fable can be * Guardian *
With Broken April Mr Kadare comes to the forefront as a major international novelist * New York Times *
Forcefully and simply written...completely authentic * Sunday Times *

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