Ismail Kadare born Jan. 28, 1936, Gjirokastėr, Alb.) Albanian novelist and poet. The son of a post-office worker, Kadare became a journalist. Unhappy with the political environment in Albania, he eventually made his home in Paris.
Among his better-known works are the novels The General of the Dead Army (1963), about post-World War II Albania, and The Castle (1970), which explores Albanian nationalism. The stories in Elegy for Kosovo (1999) concern a 14th-century battle between Balkan leaders and the Ottoman Empire. He was the only Albanian writer to have an international following in the 20th century.Ismail Kadare: modern Homer or Albanian dissident?
Ismail Kadare has experienced a life of controversy. In his own country and internationally he has been lauded as a potential Nobel laureate and criticized as a sycophant of the Albanian dictatorship. In awarding the first International Man Booker Prize for Literature in 2005, John Carey hailed Kadare as "a writer who maps a whole culture ... a universal writer in a tradition of storytelling that goes back to Homer." This assessment of Kadare as a guardian of Albanian identity.
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