Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare - Albanian personalities

Ismail Kadare is the most well known Albanian novelist and poet. He studied history and philolohy at the University of Tirana where he received his teacher’s diploma, then continued his studies at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow. Ismail wrote some books that meant to criticize the communist regime, the most well known being “The Palace of Dreams”. He was a member of the Albanian Parliament from 1970 to 1982 when he was accused of offending the authorities and was banned to publish for 3 years. In 1990 he seeked political asylum in France and he never claimed to be a disident. Ismail Kadare said that the book “The Great Winter” cost him his freedom for portraying Enver Hoxha in a flattering light.

Ismail Kadare debuted in prose with the novel “The General of the Dead Army” in 1963 and remade in 1967. He is married with Helena Kadare and has 2 daughters. Kadare’s novels draw on legends surrounding the historical experiences of Albanian people, the representation of classical myths in modern contexts, and the totalitarian regime in Albania. They are obliquely ironic as a result of trying to withstand political scrutiny.

Kadare’s works have been published in more than 40 countries and translated in over 30 languages. He was often compared with Nikolai Gogol, Franz Kafka or George Orwell and won many prestigious awards such as: “Prix Mondial Cino Del Luca” – 1992, “Man Booker International Prize” – 2005, “Prince of Asturias Awards” – 2009, “Jerusalem Prize” – 2015 and “The Order of Legion d’Honneur” -2016

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