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The Doll
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From the winner of the first-ever Man Booker International Prize- a novel about creative origin and aspiration, inspired by Ismail Kadare's childhood in Albania.

About the Author

Ismail Kadare is Albania's best-known novelist and poet. Translations of his novels have appeared in more than forty countries. He was awarded the inaugural Man Booker International Prize in 2005, the Jerusalem Prize in 2015, and the Neustadt Prize in 2020.

Reviews

An essential work. The Doll is mesmerising, and like Kadare's family home conceals both darkness and flashes of light in its interior -- Nilanjana Roy * Financial Times *
The poignant observation, bitter irony and misspoken fear running through the narrator's central relationship with his mother, a woman secretly terrified of being disowned as unworthy the moment her son achieves the fame he so desires, are what dominate this fascinating study of a difficult love. -- John Burnside * Guardian *
In a properly ordered world, Ismail Kadare would by now have got the Nobel prize for literature. By any reckoning, he is one of the most important living European writers, a man whose work is as compelling as any novelist to have emerged from the vanished world that was the Communist bloc -- Melanie McDonagh * Evening Standard *
Laconic, sinister and drily funny... Miss this fatalistic, deadpan wit, well served in John Hodgson's nicely crafted translation, and you miss something essential in Kadare. -- Boyd Tonkin * Spectator *
Albania's greatest living novelist has invariably explored his country's repressive political legacy in his strange and brilliant novels... [The Doll] can only enrich our understanding and appreciation of Kadare's writing. * Daily Mail *
An evocative, captivating story. Every word of this short book is there for a reason. The considered, precise language (translator John Hodgson has done a fine job) leads smoothly through various - no doubt carefully selected - life events with The Doll being the thread which holds it all together... It's a category-defying feat of literary engineering by a writer who is totally in control. * Bookmunch *
A master storyteller * John Carey *
[A] coldly brilliant novel -- Kevin Brazil * Times Literary Supplement *
A novelist of dazzling mastery * Independent *
One of the world's greatest living writers

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