Albania: once a battlefield, now a charnel-house. And yet, life goes on . . .This sweeping epic of post-war Albania was Kadare's first novel.
Twenty years after the end of the Second World War, an Italian general is despatched to Albania to recover his country's dead. Once there he meets a German general who is engaged upon an identical mission, and their conversations brings out into the open the extent of their horror and guilt, newly exacerbated by their present task. As they descend from the callous trivialities of their gruesome business, past and present, to suffering self-disgust, the author gives us glimpses of the lives of the people whose graves they are unearthing.
“"He has been compared to Gogol, Kafka and Orwell. But Kadare's is an original voice, universal yet deeply rooted in his own soil"”
Independent on Sunday
“A novelist of dazzling mastery”
Paul Binding, Independent