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Broken April


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About the Author

Ismail Kadare, born in 1936 in the Albanian mountain town of Gjirokaster near the Greek border, is Albania's best-known poet and novelist. He has lived in France since 1990, following his decision to seek asylum. From 1986, under the Communist regime, Mr. Kadare's work was smuggled out of Albania by his French publisher, Editions Fayard, and stored in safe keeping for later publication. Translations of his novels have since been published in more than forty countries. In addition to Broken April, Ivan R. Dee also publishes his novels Doruntine and The General of the Dead Army. Mr. Kadare is the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize 2005.


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 She becomes increasingly withdrawn as she longs to find the young man she has earlier glimpsed, while Gjorg is equally determined to find her and learn of her life before his April turns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.)

Written with masterly simplicity in a bardic style....With Broken April, Mr. Kadare comes to the forefront as a major international novelist. * The New York Times *
...Powerful, old-fashioned fiction almost Dostoevskian in its dark vision. * Kirkus *
One of contemporary fiction's greatest prose lyricists. * The Philadelphia Inquirer *
In Broken April, Kadare achieves a precise and delicate balance of wonder and horror, simplicity and irony....[Kadare] is an accomplished storyteller with a keen sense of literary history. * The Christian Science Monitor *
Kadare's voice is a voice unlike any other in contemporary fiction. The Nobel can't come a moment too soon. * Kirkus *
A major international novelist. -- Herbert Mitgang * The New York Times *
One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language. * The Wall Street Journal *
Ismail Kadare is a writer who maps a whole culture-its history, its passion, its folklore, its politics, its disasters. He is a universal writer in a tradition of storytelling that goes back to Homer. -- Professor John Carey, Committee Chair, Man Booker International Prize 2005
Ismail Kadare's fiction has been compared with that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Certainly he induces that same ironic double-take in his readers, by means of the child's magical view of life that is larger than most adults realize -- Leonie Caldecott * The New York Times *
Writing like this is hard to stop quoting, it is musical not only in rhythms, but in its most elemental perceptions. * Nation *
Albania's most valuable literary export: the novels of Ismail Kadare. -- Ken Kalfus * Village Voice Literary Supplement *
Albania's Kadare is probably the premier writer of fiction to have emerged from the Balkan countries since Bosnian Nobel-winning novelist Ivo Andric. * Kirkus *
A great writer. * Booklist *
Kadare's prose glimmers with the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. * Los Angeles Times *

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