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Renowned Albanian Novelist Ismail Kadare Dies at Age 88
FILE – Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare arrives at the Elysee Palace to receive the France’s Legion d’Honneur medal by French President Francois Hollande, in Paris, on May 30, 2016. Renowned Albanian novelist Kadare has died after being rushed to a hospital in the Albanian capital, his publishing editor said on Monday. He was 88. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Renowned Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare has died after being rushed to a hospital in Tirana, his publishing editor confirmed on Monday. He was 88.

Kadare, often touted as a potential Nobel Literature Prize contender, passed away Monday morning. According to Bujar Hudhri, editor at Onufri Publishing House, the distinguished author suffered a cardiac arrest before being taken to the emergency room. A nurse, speaking anonymously because she was not authorized to speak to the press, confirmed Kadare’s arrival at the hospital.

Gaining international acclaim in 1963 with his novel “The General of the Dead Army,” Kadare became a symbol of literary prowess even when Albania was under the communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha.

In the autumn of 1990, Kadare fled to France, escaping the clutches of the oppressive regime just before its collapse. He settled in Paris, only returning to Tirana recently.

His legacy was further cemented last year when French President Emmanuel Macron awarded him the title of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor during Macron’s visit to the Albanian capital. France had previously recognized Kadare as a foreign associate of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and had named him Commander of the Legion of Honor.

Kadare’s extensive body of work, which includes over 80 novels, plays, screenplays, poems, essays, and story collections, has earned him numerous international awards. His writings have been translated into 45 languages, expanding his influence far beyond his home country.


Semini reported from Bari, Italy

Source: AP News