Broken April by Ismail Kadare

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Synopsis

Two destinies intersect in Broken April. The first is that of Gjor, a young mountaineer who (much against his will) has just killed a man in order to avenge the death of his older brother, and who expects to be killed himself in keeping with the provisions of the Code that regulates life in the highlands. The second is that of a young couple on their honeymoon who have come to study the age-old customs of the place, including the blood feud.
While the story is set in the early twentieth century, life on the high plateaus of Albania takes life back to the Dark Ages. The bloody shirt of the latest victim is hung up by the bereaved for all to see—until the avenger in turn kills his man with a rifle shot. For the young bride, the shock of this unending cycle of obligatory murder is devastating. The horror becomes personified when she catches a glimpse of Gjor as he wanders about the countryside, waiting for the truce of thirty days to end, and life with it. That momentary vision of the hapless murderer provokes in her a violent act of revulsion and contrition. Her life will be marked by it always.
 

About Ismail Kadare

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Ismail Kadare was born in Albania in 1936. His first novel, The General of the Dead Army established him as a major international voice in literature. His work has since been translated into forty languages, and in 2005 he became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize.
 
Published June 16, 1998 by New Amsterdam Books. 219 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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The dead man cries out for vengeance."" The death, once accomplished, dooms Gjorg, but by custom he may wander without fear of retribution for 30 days--the bessa, as the truce is called: ""What would he do in the thirty days left to him?"" While various figures here, mostly props to get the story...

Sep 18 1990 | Read Full Review of Broken April

Publishers Weekly

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Honeymooners in the mountains of Albania and a young man playing out a blood feud set the stage for this mesmerizing tale. Ordered by his father to obey the mandates of Kanun , or mountain law, Gjorg

Jun 01 1998 | Read Full Review of Broken April

Publishers Weekly

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She becomes increasingly withdrawn as she longs to find the young man she has earlier glimpsed, while Gjorg is equally determined to find her and learn of her life before his April turns ``black.'' Thanks to simple prose and engaging details, the Albanian Kadare ( Chronicles in Stone ) makes this...

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