Ismail Kadare 1936–2024

1 July 2024

We’re very sorry to hear of the passing of Ismail Kadare.A giant of Albanian literature”, as the Guardian obituary puts it, Kadare’s writing career began under the dictator Enver Hoxha, and his books quickly brought him international acclaim. He spent much of his career in the unenviable position of being a fiction writer of conscience and politics working under authoritarian rule and censorship, until his defection to Paris in 1990.

At Canongate we’ve been lucky enough to publish many of his novels in a relationship of almost twenty years, including Chronicle in Stone, The Siege and Twilight of the Eastern Gods. Shortly after we first acquired one of Kadare’s books, The Successor, he was named the inaugural winner of the International Booker Prize (when the prize was given for an author’s body of work, rather than a particular book). It was one of many plaudits he garnered over the course of his life. All his work, as a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright, is testament to his brilliance and subtlety of thought.

He was one of the great writers of our age and we’ve no doubt that his books will live on for a very long time.