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In a medieval Albanian town, two women, mother and daughter, are on their deathbed. Three years have passed since Doruntine married a foreigner and went off with him to his home far to the west in Bohemia. During those years there had been no communication with her. War broke out, and of her nine brothers, some died in battle, some of plague caught from the enemy soldiers. All were dead. And last night Doruntine came home. Captain Stres, head of the constabulary of the region makes these remarks in his official report: From within, the old lady asked who was there, and then the few words exchanged by the daughter and her motherDthe former saying that it was she, and she had come with Constantine, and the other replying that Constantine was three years deadDgave both of them the shock that felled them. I thought it necessary to make a report about these events because they concern one of the noblest families of the principality, and because they are of a kind that might seriously trouble people's minds. They do indeed trouble people's minds. The archbishop of the principality has to take account of the heresy, spread everywhere, that Constantine has risen from the dead.
And Captain Stres, the policeman and bureaucrat, in pursuing his inquiry into Doruntine's return, suffers a sea change that makes him too the stuff of legend.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 139 x 206 x 14mm | 236g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1561310328
  • 9781561310326
  • 910,630

Review quote

A magical parable of love, death, and the power of familial bonds. -- Stephan Salisbury * The New York Times * A master storyteller. He has a knack like Isak Dinesen's for creating a long-ago atmosphere for a story essentially timeless. * Chicago Tribune * Fiction laced with a sophisticated literary self-awareness. * The Christian Science Monitor * The great modern Albanian writer, Ismail Kadare, has given us a masterpiece, Doruntine, at once romantic and contemporary in spirit. Here is a spell-binding new literary mode, with its suspense, its alertness, its suggestiveness, its intensely local flavor-an age-old legend transformed into a splendid fable. -- Alain Bosquet * Lettres Etrangeres * A major international novelist. -- Herbert Mitgang * The New York Times * Kadare's is a voice unlike any other in contemporary fiction. The Nobel can't come a moment too soon. * Kirkus * One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language. * The Wall Street Journal * One of contemporary fiction's greatest prose lyricists. * The Philadelphia Inquirer * 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 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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About Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare, born in 1936 in the Albanian mountain town of Gjirokaster near the Greek border, is AlbaniaOs 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. KadareOs work was smuggled out of Albania by his French publisher, Yditions 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 Doruntine, Ivan R. Dee also publishes his novels Broken April and The General of the Dead Army. Mr. Kadare is the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize 2005.
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Rating details

1,021 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 33% (341)
4 33% (338)
3 24% (242)
2 8% (77)
1 2% (23)
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