Reading about Albania: Broken April

With my reading choices sometimes limited by knowing only English, it was a pleasure to have quite a few options for this destination, even if they were almost all from one writer. It was without a doubt that I would delve into a novel by Ismail Kadare, a best-selling author in Albania since the 1960s, and someone who has had a big impact internationally for almost as long.

But with so many choices…you still have to make a choice. And I think I made the right one: Broken April. There’s not much I can add to the endless amounts of praise this book has received over the years, except to say that it deserves every word of it.

A melancholy story that takes place in an unidentified part of the 20th century, it unfolds like a fairy tale. Characters that are trapped by tradition, by family, by cycles that they are just part of and can’t control or escape. I don’t really want to say more, because you should experience this all for yourself. It’s well worth reading.

Shala Valley, Albania
Shala Valley, Albania
(Image by Albinfo (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)