Ismail Kadare

Ismail Kadare is a renowned Albanian novelist and poet, known for his works that often explore themes of history, politics, and culture in Albania. He has received numerous international awards and is considered one of the most important contemporary writers in the Albanian language.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Broken April

    "Broken April" is a tale set in the highlands of Albania, where a centuries-old, rigid code of conduct known as the Kanun dictates the daily lives of the people. The novel revolves around two main characters, a young man who is obliged to commit a murder in order to avenge his family's honor and a newlywed couple on their honeymoon. The young man is trapped in an endless cycle of blood feud, while the couple, fascinated by the customs of the highlands, slowly gets entangled in the deadly traditions. The story is a profound reflection on the harsh realities of revenge, honor, and societal expectations.

    The 2823rd Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Doruntine

    The book is a haunting tale that weaves together Albanian folklore and history, centered on the mysterious return of Doruntine to her family home after her brother Constantine, who had sworn on his honor to bring her back from her faraway marriage, is found to have been dead for years. The story delves into the depths of a medieval society's beliefs and the unbreakable vow known as the "besa," exploring themes of familial duty, the supernatural, and the struggle between modernity and tradition. As the local authorities investigate the enigmatic circumstances of Doruntine's return, the narrative unfolds into a gripping examination of the collective psyche and the power of an unyielding promise that transcends death.

    The 3367th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The General of the Dead Army

    The novel follows an Italian general who is tasked with recovering the bodies of fallen Italian soldiers in Albania after World War II. Accompanied by a priest, the general faces numerous challenges, including harsh weather, uncooperative locals, and his own growing despair. As he uncovers the stories of the dead, he is forced to confront the brutal realities of war and the haunting specter of his own mortality. The novel explores themes of war, death, and the human condition.

    The 3669th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Palace Of Dreams

    "The Palace of Dreams" is a thought-provoking novel set in a fictional totalitarian state, where dreams are meticulously recorded and analyzed by a secretive government agency. Mark-Alem, a young clerk, finds himself entangled in the intricate web of the Palace of Dreams, as he is assigned to interpret dreams that could potentially influence the fate of the nation. As he navigates through a world filled with political intrigue and personal dilemmas, Mark-Alem is forced to question the nature of reality, the power of dreams, and the consequences of suppressing individuality in the pursuit of control.

    The 4043rd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Three-Arched Bridge

    In this novel, set in the 14th century, a small Albanian village is disrupted by the construction of a stone bridge across a river. The bridge is said to be cursed, with local legend claiming that the first to cross it will be claimed by the devil. The narrator, a local monk, chronicles the bridge's construction and the subsequent societal changes, while also grappling with the encroaching Ottoman Empire. The narrative explores themes of progress, sacrifice, and the clash between old and new.

    The 4401st Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Spring Flowers, Spring Frost

    In a small town in Albania, a bank worker and artist navigates the strange and often surreal world of post-communist life. The novel explores the tension between the old and new ways of life, as well as the underlying violence that threatens to burst forth at any moment. The protagonist's life is disrupted by strange events, such as the discovery of a girl who has been living in a bunker for years, and his own wife's sudden disappearance. The narrative is filled with dreamlike, often disturbing imagery, reflecting the protagonist's struggle to make sense of his rapidly changing world.

    The 4931st Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Successor

    "The Successor" is a political thriller set in Albania during the 1980s. The narrative revolves around the mysterious death of the designated successor of the country's dictator. The successor is found dead in his bed one morning, which the regime declares as a suicide but the public believes to be an assassination. The novel explores the political intrigue, power struggles, and paranoia within the totalitarian regime, and the fear and silence of the people under its rule.

    The 5353rd Greatest Book of All Time