The Accident (Paperback)

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By Ismail Kadare, John Hodgson (Translator)
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From Man Booker International Prize winner Ismail Kadare comes a dizzying psychological thriller of twisted passions, dual identities, and political subterfuge. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the war in the Balkans, The Accident closely documents an affair between two young lovers.

On a rainy morning in Vienna, a taxi pulls onto the autobahn only to crash into the median barrier moments later, hurling its two passengers--a man and a woman--from the backseat as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple seemed to be about to kiss.

As the investigation into their deaths deepens, a lonely researcher will uncover a mutually destructive relationship that blurs the line between fact and fiction, fear and desire, and love and fixation over the course of twelve years. An alluring mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, The Accident is a fever dream of a novel that marks a bold and fascinating departure from Kadare's previous work.

About the Author

Ismail Kadare was born in 1936 in Albania. His novels have been published in more than forty countries, and in 2005 he became the first winner of the Man Booker International Prize.

Praise For…

Praise for The Accident:

An author who richly deserves the Nobel Prize.”Anis Shivani, The Huffington Post (Most Anticipated Novels for 2010)

The name of the Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare regularly comes up at Nobel Prize time, and he is still a good bet to win it one of these days. . . . [He] is seemingly incapable of writing a book that fails to be interesting. His new novel, The Accident, is provocative . . . not least because of the way it starts out as one kind of book and turns into something else entirely. . . . [The Accident] takes you to the sort of place novels don’t routinely visit these days.”The New York Times

Vivid . . . Kadare dives deep into the pulling currents of love and death . . . Anyone who has ever suffered through a love affair or wondered about other people caught up in such torments will find this brief novel essential reading.”Alan Cheuse, NPR

[The Accident] is spare and often powerful . . . Kadare is inevitably linked to Orwell and Kundera, but he is a far deeper ironist than the first, and a better storyteller than the second.”The New Yorker

Absorbing . . . In his layering of truth-quests, Kadare, [echoes] the experimental-fiction writers Alain Robbe-Grillet and Jorge Luis Borges. . . . A gripping account of a star-crossed romance.”The Wall Street Journal

Kadare has constructed a maze of maybes where opaque motivations lead to startling ramifications . . . turning from realist mystery into surrealist foray.”San Francisco Chronicle

Dark, dreamlike . . . A provocative exploration of the sinister underside of human relations . . . [and a] compulsive and unnerving excavation of love, power and the imperfect art of storytelling.”The Observer

Meticulously rendered and subtly nuanced. . . [The Accident] demands the reader’s attention as it delves deeper and deeper into tortured love. . . . At once an exploration of human nature and a keen observation of Albanian life in the aftermath of socialist rule. . . . . The text is spare, urgent . . . as compelling as the love affair it documents.”The Brooklyn Rail

Kadare’s excursions into an eccentric stylemeticulous procedural scenes bloom into the surreal, languid eroticism mingles with the banal, dreams are scrutinized as readily as actual eventsprovide moments both curious and brilliant as the researcher teases out an almost entirely speculative narrative rife with complexities and possibilities. Should be manna for the Gauloise and bitter espresso crowd.”Publishers Weekly

A thriller laden with reflections on the abuse of state power. . . . Deftly, Kadare recreates the shadowy atmosphere of rumor and recrimination in Albania during the dying days of communism in the late 1980s.”The Evening Standard

[A] forceful tale . . . Haunting . . . Lean, calm, and footsure, Kadare’s writing keeps you reading. . . . With a Milan Kundera-like quality . . . [The Accident] is a compelling performance.”Sunday Times (UK)

Out of [Enver Hoxha’s rule over Albania, Kadare] has created Kafkaesque fables, nightmarish historical allegories, and his own very distinct mystery. . . . Scattered throughout are reminders of Kadare’s feverish brilliance.”James Lasdun, The Guardian

Kadare is a novelist of the utmost subtlety.”The Scotsman

A spy thriller with intelligence . . . [Kadare’s] work has won comparisons with Kafka and Solzhenitsyn.”Metro (UK)

As a veteran of Stalinist Albania, Kadare is highly adept at depicting paranoia and gratuitous suspicion, and The Accident has several acerbic and witty reflections on the messy history of the Balkans over the last twenty years.” Tibor Fischer, Financial Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802145512
ISBN-10: 0802145515
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: November 1st, 2011
Pages: 265
Language: English