Albanian Race Row Puts Spotlight on Kadare

Source: Balkan Insight / Author: Marjola Rukaj

Ismail Kadare (photo)A controversy over whether a newspaper was racist in its criticism of the US ambassador has reignited a debate on whether Ismail Kadare, Albania’s most renowned writer, is also racist.

The American embassy in Tirana severed last month ties with the daily newspaper Shekulli following publication of a comment deemed derogatory and racist to ambassador Alexander Arvizu.

The row erupted after the newspaper ran an opinion article by journalist Ilir Yzeri on April 9, entitled “The Little Ambassador of a Great Country.”

The article, which took a critical stance toward Arvizu’s track record as an ambassador, used the term “kinezeri” (Chinese-like) to describe his behaviour as well as appearance. Arvizu is of partly Asian decent.

In the letter to the newspaper the embassy noted that although the ambassador welcomed criticism, the newspaper had stepped beyond a line with a personal attack.

Please read the rest of the article here

Kadare’s The Palace of Dreams to Become Film

Iranian born and New York-based acclaimed artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat told IndieWire in a recent interview that she is working to transform the novel of Albanian writer Ismail Kadare into a movie.

“I have been very interested by another novel written by Albanian author Ismail Kadare, called “The Palace of Dreams”; this film will be made in English, and it will be most likely filmed in Eastern Europe,” Neshat said. Continue reading Kadare’s The Palace of Dreams to Become Film

Ismail Kadare, Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for Letters

Ismail KadareAlbanian writer Ismaíl Kadare has been bestowed with the 2009 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters. The decision was announced by the Jury in Oviedo today.

Narrator, essayist and poet, Kadare represents the pinnacle of Albanian literature and who, without forgetting his roots, has crossed frontiers to rise up as a universal voice against totalitarianism. Regarded as one of the greatest European writers and intellectuals of the 20th century, his works have been translated into over forty languages. Continue reading Ismail Kadare, Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for Letters