MLA Platinum Award Press Release

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 this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • 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" articles
  • 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 $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • 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" articles
  • 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 $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: Run Me to Earth
    Run Me to Earth
    by Paul Yoon
    Suspenseful and elegant storytelling in Run Me to Earth kept me turning pages even through traumatic...
  • Book Jacket: Beheld
    Beheld
    by TaraShea Nesbit
    Much like her debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit's Beheld imagines a familiar ...
  • Book Jacket: My Dark Vanessa
    My Dark Vanessa
    by Kate Russell
    The plot of Kate Elizabeth Russell's My Dark Vanessa follows the life of Vanessa Wye, who at the age...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    And They Called It Camelot
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    An unforgettable portrait of American legend Jackie O.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Mountains Sing
    by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

    An enveloping, multigenerational tale set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam War.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Resistance Women
by Jennifer Chiaverini

An enthralling saga, inspired by real events, that recreates the danger and sacrifice of the Weimar Republic.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Firsts

The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

"An intimately told story, with detailed and thought-provoking portraits..."
--New York Times

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Die I C

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.