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 passengersa man and a womanfrom 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.
Man Booker International winner Kadare (The Siege) builds a strange world out of a "most ordinary" traffic accident. Diplomat Besfort Y. and his longtime girlfriend, Rovena, are killed in a Vienna taxi accident after distracting the driver by "trying to kiss." As it turns out, Besfort may have had a checkered political past, and as various Balkan intelligence agencies review the accident, speculations emerge: was Rovena really a long-suffering girlfriend, or was she a call girl? Was Besfort murdered for political purposes? Was he involved in the collapse of Yugoslavia? But without hard facts, the case grows cold until an unnamed researcher at the European Road Safety Institute decides to write a speculative account of the last 40 weeks of Besfort and Rovena's lives. Kadare's excursions into an eccentric style meticulous procedural scenes bloom into the surreal, languid eroticism mingles with the banal, dreams are scrutinized as readily as actual events provide 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.