From the winner of the Man Booker International Prize and author of A Girl in Exile. “One of the most compelling novelists now writing in any language” (The Wall Street Journal).
June 28, 1389: Six hundred years before Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic called for the repression of the Albanian majority in Kosovo, there took place, on the Field of the Blackbirds, a battle shrouded in legend. A coalition of Serbs, Albanian Catholics, Bosnians, and Romanians confronted and were defeated by the invading Ottoman army of the Sultan Murad. This battle established the Muslim foothold in Europe and became the centerpiece of Serbian nationalist ideology, justifying the campaign of ethnic cleansing of Albanian Kosovars that the world witnessed with horror at the end of the past century.
In this eloquent and timely reflection on war, memory, and the destiny of two peoples, Ismail Kadare explores in fiction the legend and the consequences of that defeat. Elegy for Kosovo is a heartfelt yet clear-eyed lament for a land riven by hatreds as old as the Homeric epics and as young as the latest news broadcast.
“Kadare is patently a world-class novelist and prose poet.” —The Boston Globe
“He has the gift of writing parables of great weight in the lightest of tones.” —Los Angeles Times
“A courageous and accomplished storyteller who is simply one of the best novelists alive.” —The News & Observer (Raleigh)