July 15th, 2024

Albania’s world-renowned novelist Ismail Kadare dies at 88


By Vlasov Sulaj And Llazar Semini, The Associated Press on July 1, 2024.

FILE - Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare arrives at the Elysee Palace to receive the France's Legion d'Honneur medal by French President Francois Hollande, in Paris, on May 30, 2016. Renowned Albanian novelist Kadare has died after being rushed to a hospital in the Albanian capital, his publishing editor said on Monday. He was 88. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) – Renowned Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare has died after being rushed to a hospital in Tirana, his publishing editor said on Monday. He was 88.

Kadare has long been mentioned as a possible contender for the Nobel Literature Prize.

Onufri Publishing House editor Bujar Hudhri said the noted author died Monday morning. A nurse at the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to the press, said he was taken to the emergency room after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Kadare became internationally recognized after his novel “The General of the Dead Army” was published in 1963 when Albania was still governed by the communist government of late dictator Enver Hoxha.

Kadare fled Albania to France in the fall of 1990, just a few months before the fall of the communist regime following student protests the previous December. He lived in Paris and had recently returned to Tirana.

Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron awarded him the Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor title during a visit by the French president to the Albanian capital. France had previously also made him a foreign associate of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, as well as Commander of the Legion of Honor.

Kadare has been awarded a number of international prizes for his works, which included more than 80 novels, plays, screenplays, poetry, essays and story collections translated into 45 languages.

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Semini reported from Bari, Italy

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