Ismail Kadare

(b.1936 in Gjirokastër, Albania) is a world-renowned writer. Just before the fall of communism in Albania in 1990, Kadare fled to France. He now divides his time between France and Albania. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and in 2005 he won the inaugural Booker International Prize. His first novel, The General of the Dead Army, was published in 1963 and has since been published in more than 40 countries.

Kadare’s works include The Palace of Dreams (1981); The Concert (1998); and The Successor (2005).


“For seventy years in succession, the Communists accused Western leaders of being Don Quixote. The latter did the same, accusing the Stalinists of being Don Quixote […] As you see, Don Quixote is always the loser, because the politicians who use his name are not on his level and have not a bit of his nobility.” Ismail Kadare on why Don Quixote belongs to Balkan folklore, how Cervantes first came to be translated into Albanian, and why today’s politicians should be banned from using the knight errant’s name as a term of abuse.

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