Broken April

Broken April

5.0 2
by Ismail Kadare
     
 

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Two destinies intersect in Broken April. The first is that of Gjor, a young mountaineer who (much against his will) has just killed a man in order to avenge the death of his older brother, and who expects to be killed himself in keeping with the provisions of the Code that regulates life in the highlands. The second is that of a young couple on their honeymoon who

Overview

Two destinies intersect in Broken April. The first is that of Gjor, a young mountaineer who (much against his will) has just killed a man in order to avenge the death of his older brother, and who expects to be killed himself in keeping with the provisions of the Code that regulates life in the highlands. The second is that of a young couple on their honeymoon who have come to study the age-old customs of the place, including the blood feud. While the story is set in the early twentieth century, life on the high plateaus of Albania takes life back to the Dark Ages. The bloody shirt of the latest victim is hung up by the bereaved for all to see—until the avenger in turn kills his man with a rifle shot. For the young bride, the shock of this unending cycle of obligatory murder is devastating. The horror becomes personified when she catches a glimpse of Gjor as he wanders about the countryside, waiting for the truce of thirty days to end, and life with it. That momentary vision of the hapless murderer provokes in her a violent act of revulsion and contrition. Her life will be marked by it always.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
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
Philadelphia Inquirer
One of contemporary fiction’s greatest prose lyricists.
Christian Science Monitor
In Broken April, Kadare achieves a precise and delicate balance of wonder and horror, simplicity and irony....[Kadare] is an accomplished storyteller with a keen sense of literary history.
Wall Street Journal
One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language.
Nation
Writing like this is hard to stop quoting, it is musical not only in rhythms, but in its most elemental perceptions.
Village Voice Literary Supplement
Albania's most valuable literary export: the novels of Ismail Kadare.
— Ken Kalfus
Booklist
A great writer.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Kadare's prose glimmers with the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The New York Times
Written with masterly simplicity in a bardic style....With Broken April, Mr. Kadare comes to the forefront as a major international novelist.
The Wall Street Journal
One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language.
Los Angeles Times
Kadare's prose glimmers with the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The New York Times - Herbert Mitgang
A major international novelist.
Professor John Carey
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.
The New York Times - Leonie Caldecott
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
Village Voice Literary Supplement - Ken Kalfus
Albania's most valuable literary export: the novels of Ismail Kadare.
The Christian Science Monitor
In Broken April, Kadare achieves a precise and delicate balance of wonder and horror, simplicity and irony....[Kadare] is an accomplished storyteller with a keen sense of literary history.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
One of contemporary fiction’s greatest prose lyricists.
Herbert Mitgang
"Broken April" is written with masterly simplicity in a bardic style. . . . With "Broken April," Mr. Kadare comes to the forefront as a major international novelist. -- New York Times
Leonie Caldecott
"...compared with Gabriel Garcia Marquez....he induces that same ironic double-take...by means of the child's magical view"
NY Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Honeymooners in the mountains of Albania and a young man playing out a blood feud set the stage for this mesmerizing tale. Ordered by his father to obey the mandates of Kanun , or mountain law, Gjorg Berisha kills a a man to avenge the murder of his brother. According to the Kanun , however, it is the right and duty of the slain man's family to murder Gjorg after the bessa , or 30-day truce, expires in mid-April. Gjorg plans to spend the first, ``white'' part of that month as a wanderer, but first must walk to a distant village to pay a ``blood tax'' to the region's ruling family. On the way, he catches the eye of Diana Vorpsis, traveling in the mountains by carriage with her new husband, Bessian. Something about Gjorg, his role in the drama she hears about and his probable death captures Diana's soul. She becomes increasingly withdrawn as she longs to find the young man she has earlier glimpsed, while Gjorg is equally determined to find her and learn of her life before his April turns ``black.'' Thanks to simple prose and engaging details, the Albanian Kadare ( Chronicles in Stone ) makes this story of harsh yet romantic mountain life ring magically true. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561310654
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Pages:
218
Sales rank:
117,352
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.64(d)

Meet the Author

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

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Broken April 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ambitious-brunette More than 1 year ago
Broken April is one of my fav books that was written by ismail kadare.
I have read this book many times, and i sure i will read it again. Sadly in northern and southern albania people still live their lives around the kanun. Its a moving story... Its a most read!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
2 honeymooners take a trip up North in the Albanian highlands that have loose government supervision and strong custom adherance. Our modern laws are overshadowed with a code of honor about 500 years old. The code of Leke Dukagjini or Kanuni i Lek Dukashinit as it is in Albanian helps guide life from its most basic activities and up until dignity and honor of man and family. Resemblence to the original Sicilian mafia may be drawn for a lack of a bettre reference point although the Kanun (code) is most probably eldest from the two. It is also important to note that the code has been safeguarded and adhered to mainly in the north and particularly in the mountains of Albania. So although Albanians have clear knowlege of its existence most do not have to encounter it in their daily lives...and so the story continues of the 2 honeymooners vacationing up North. The intrigues or horrors of the lifestyles are gut-wrenchingly brough alive through Kadare's words. A must read.