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The Siege

Translated by Bellos

It is the early fifteenth century and as winter falls away the people of Albania know their fate is sealed. Their refusal to negotiate with the Ottoman Empire means war is now inevitable. Soon, dust kicked up by Turkish horses is spotted from a citadel. Tens of thousands of men begin to fill the plain below.

The Siege tells the enthralling story of the weeks and months that follow—of the exhilaration and despair of the battlefield, the shifting strategies of war, and those whose lives are held in the balance. For those trapped inside the citadel, and for the Pasha, the artillerymen, astrologer, blind poet and his harem of women outside, the siege is inescapable and increasingly oppressive.

From this dramatic setting Kadare has created one of his masterpieces, a profound novel that is as moving as it is compelling. It is an unforgettable account of the clash of two civilisations and a timeless depiction of individual pain, uncertainty and fear. Kadare is one of our most significant writers.

Ismail Kadare
About the Author

Born in 1936, Ismail Kadare is Albania’s best-known poet and novelist. Translations of his novels, which include The Siege, The Successor, Chronicle in Stone and The Accident, have been published in more than forty countries. In 2005 he became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize.

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Text publication date:
4 August 2008
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Other editions ofThe Siege
  • The Siege
    ISBN: 9781921799730
    4 August 2008
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