Ismail Kadare biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Ismail Kadare
Sophie Bassouls

Ismail Kadare

How to pronounce Ismail Kadare: IS-mail ka-DA-reh

Ismail Kadare Biography

Albanian writer Ismail Kadare was born in Gjirokaster, Albania in 1936; his father worked in the civil service.   He studied at the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Tirana, graduating with a teaching diploma in 1956, before moving to Moscow to study at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, where he stayed until 1960 when relations between Albania and the Soviet Union soured. 

His first collection of poetry was published when he was 18.  His first novel, The General of the Dead Army, was published when he was 27. 

Although some people viewed him as a dissident during the communist era, he disagrees.  In an interview on Albanian TV in 2006 he was asked whether he had ever tried to present himself as a dissident, to which he replied "Absolutely not. Others have said this, and I could not do anything when foreign journalists wrote "The dissident author Ismail Kadare...".

He was a family friend of Enver Hoxha (1908-1985), Albania's dictator for 40 years, and was at one time a delegate in the one-party parliament (1970).   He was the only writer in Communist Albania whose writings were not prohibited (although he was forbidden from writing for three years during a crack-down in the '70s) and some of his writings appear to support the regime.  One such work is The Great Winter which he describes as "the price I had to pay for freedom".  Other works are clearly not in favor, for example What Are These Mountains Thinking About, is said to be one of the clearest expressions of Albanian self-image under the communist dictatorship.

In short, in a society in which all arts were completely and ruthlessly controlled by the state, Kadare trod a fine line.  In his own words "dissidence was a position no one could occupy, even for a few days, without facing the firing squad. On the other hand, my books themselves constitute a very obvious form of resistance."

In October 1990, shortly before the fall of communism in Albania, he sought and was granted asylum in France.  He now divides his time between Paris and Tirana, the capital of Albania.  His work has been published in over 40 countries and in 2005 he was awarded the inaugural Booker International Prize and the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca (a French literary prize that recognizes an author whose work conveys a message of modern humanism).

Several of his novels have been published in the US, including The Pyramid, The Three-Arched Bridge, The Concert, The Palace of Dreams, The File on H, Elegy For Kosovo and Spring Flowers, Spring Frost.



This bio was last updated on 03/20/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Ismail Kadare at BookBrowse
The Fall of the Stone City jacket Agamemnon's Daughter jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ismail Kadare but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Yasmina Khadra

    Yasmina Khadra

    Yasmina Khadra is the pseudonym of the former Algerian army officer Mohammed Moulessehoul.

    Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted a woman's pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Agamemnon's Daughter

    Try:
    The Swallows of Kabul
    by Yasmina Khadra

  • Milan Kundera

    Milan Kundera

    The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, for more than twenty years. He is the author of the several books including The Joke (1967), Life is Elsewhere (1969), ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Agamemnon's Daughter

    Try:
    Ignorance
    by Milan Kundera

We recommend 6 similar authors

View all 6 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guineveres
    The Guineveres
    by Sarah Domet
    It's a human need to know one's own identity, to belong to someone, to yearn for a place ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.