Masterful in its simplicity, Chronicle in Stone is a touching coming-of-age story and a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit. Surrounded by the magic of beautiful women and literature, a boy must endure the deprivations of war as he suffers the hardships of growing up. His sleepy country has just thrown off centuries of tyranny, but new waves of domination inundate his city.
"I loved it very much."
In this spellbinding novel, written in Albania and smuggled into France a few pages at a time in the 1980s, Ismail Kadare denounces with rare force the machinery of a dictatorial regime, drawing us back to the ancient roots of tyranny in Western Civilization. During the waning years of Communism, a young worker for the Albanian state-controlled media agency narrates the story of his ill-fated love for the daughter of a high-ranking official.
"Three Stories, Each Unique"
The Successor is a powerful political novel based on the sudden, mysterious death of the man who had been handpicked to succeed the hated Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. The man who died was Mehmet Shehu, the presumed heir to the ailing dictator. The world was so certain that he was next in line that he was known as The Successor. And then, shortly before he was to assume power, he was found dead. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered?
"Kadare is simply amazing."
In a town at the foot of the northern Highlands, life goes on as always, but people are in a state of shock: A bank has been robbed, a sure sign of the Westernization of this backward Balkan land. Meanwhile, other strange events - such as the marriage of a girl and a snake - confirm that ancient legends still prevail. People are flocking from far and wide to search for a tunnel to the Secret State Archives, said to house records of crimes they may have committed. Some even claim the ghosts of former dictators Hoxha, Brezhnev, and Ulbricht - not to mention Oedipus - have been seen there....