The man who is next in line to be the leader of Albania is found shot dead in his bed. Was it suicide or was it murder? Kadare, one of Europe’s finest writers, reshapes recent Balkan history in this wry and witty political parable, his first English offering in some years. Translated from the French of Tedi Papavrami by David Bellos.
‘Kadare is one of the most remarkable European novelists of the twentieth century. His work is as immense as Balzac’s, as unrelenting in its critique of dictatorship as Orwell’s, and as disturbingly fantastical as Kafka’s…it adds up to a portrait of an imaginary land—Kadaria, some have called it—with a single, central topic: how to remain human in a world ruled by fear and suspicion. It is a singular, magnificent achievement, and has long been thought worthy of the highest honour.’
‘Kadare skillfully blends the thuggery of power politics with the willed naivete of a populace still gripped as much by folklore and superstition as by the exigencies of a modern society…Echoes of Kafka, Koestler, Camus and Orwell, in a master novelist’s blackest and most bracing report yet from Communist Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.’
‘There is a terse elegance to Kadare’s writing and each word is perfectly weighted. The constructed imagery is exquisite. Kadare’s greatest strength is in saying as much through what he leaves out as what he puts in…The Successor is a truly graceful book.’