I have a couple of noughties Kadare paperbacks, unread, which both have pointedly austere and literary covers This one, with its title and falling female silhouette, seems aimed at the new audience for moderately literary thrillers with unreliable point of view characters and names including the word Girl Who will likely be disappointed as the Orpheus references take hold and everything goes magic realist but I was ensnared, having spent much of the earlier stretch wondering if a lot had been lost in translation The sections on literary life under the socialist realist jackboot don t hold a candle to Bulgakov, but the bizarre emotional entanglements have odd glimmering vignettes where they bear comparison to de Beauvoir Review copy, my professional review of which will be appearing in some of what remains of the British regional press in a month or so A complex but short story which I may have missed many of the nuances There s debate on restrictions of the Albanian government under a socialist system, the rights of women, reference to the classics and the ongoing nervousness of waiting to be arrested by a paranoid regime.The main character is a playwright in Albania He is self possessed, his current girlfriend is 20 years younger and still at school He is questioned by the unnamed interrogator about his relationship with a Linda K who has committed suicide while being under the sentence of exile to a remote Albanian town.Not my favourite Kadare book. Rudian Stefa Is Called In For Questioning By The Party Committee An Unknown Girl Linda B Has Been Found Dead, With A Signed Copy Of His Latest Book In Her Possession Rudian Remembers Writing The Dedication At The Request Of Linda S Friend, Who Has Since Become His Mistress But Has Now Disappeared He Soon Learns That Linda S Family, Considered Suspect, Were Exiled To A Small Albanian Town Far From The Capital, And That The Girl Committed SuicideBut What Really Happened To Linda B Through Layers Of Intrigue, Her Story Gradually Unfolds How She Loved Rudian From A Distance, And The Risks She Was Prepared To Take So That She Could Get Close To Him A Girl In Exile Is A Stunning, Deeply Affecting Portrait Of Life And Love Under Surveillance, Infused With Myth, Wry Humour And The Chilling Absurdity Of A Paranoid Regime The time the story was placed,was just a little bit depressing,and from time to time,I didn t have the nerve to keep reading.So many nonsenses,but that still in those days had to make senseBut I really loved the ending,its cruelty was adorable,and so kind still with the nonsenses Moje prvni albanska knizka a primo od albanskeho numero uno spisovatele, tedy Dr.Albana No, nemuzu rict, ze by to dopadlo dobre Dr Alb n se v tomto dile pokousi trochu kunderovat, takze valime silnou romanci na pozadi komunistickeho rezimu Vo co de, ptate se literarni rodino No hned vam to sem fouknu spisovatel navali nejaky buchte podpis do knizky, jenze buchta se vobesi a zacne vysetrovani Paranoia, na kterou kniha lakala, se projevovala maximalne tak v mych gatich, kdy jsem nevedel, jestli se z toho uz nahodou neposeru Hlavni hrdina je otravny asi jako Jan Preucil, pricemz se pred nami rozpleta milostny trojuhelnik se zapletkou, ktera byla tak priblbla, ze jsem se malem taky vobesil Konec jsem uz vylozene protrpel, jako kdyz mi treba stara rika co se musi zejtra koupit.Za me ne dr.Alb ne. Read whilst cycling in Albania s mountains Enjoyed it a lot. sunk in the totalitarian swampRudian Stefa, a playwright, has a girlfriend He doesn t treat her very well, but still, he dotes on her Once, before they became lovers, the girl, Migena, asked him to autograph a copy of one of his books She said it was for a friend He thinks it s an extremely minor matter, maybe it was just for herself One day he s called into the Party Committee in Tirana Albania s capital to explain why he signed the book and under what circumstances The friend has committed suicide Since it s Albania during the rule of Enver Hoxha, such a summons is scary But why have they called him He begins to enquire and we start to learn the inside story The friend is a girl in internal exile that is, she and her family are forbidden to leave their town and must check in with the police every day Any deviance from these rules would mean either execution or prison She has fallen in love with Rudian Stefa from afar, knowing that she can never travel to Tirana to meet him Things become and convoluted, the sickness of totalitarian society is slowly unraveled Poetry, plays, and Greek legends all start to have meaning in this tale of dismal Albanian disaster In the Albania of the 1980s, could you trust anyone Could you be sure your lover would not turn you in Even playing the saxophone too extravagantly leads to a jail sentence The ending is simply brilliant The evil of such a paranoid dictatorship is revealed better than in a hundred polemics on the Communist threat or the Fascist peril Hannah Arendt s banality of evil finds perfect expression here Vague reports, uncertain conclusions, the fog covering reality and separating it only thinly from legend Once again, Kadare has written an amazingly good book If it wasn t for their politically correct prejudices and occupation with various high jinks, the Nobel Committee would have awarded him the Nobel years ago. Another astonishing novel by an author of outstanding talent Where, one might ask, is Kadare s Nobel Prize I have sought out and read Kadare ever since he won the inaugural Man Booker International prize in 2005, thereby coming to the attention of readers in North America At first, it was easy to find titles in major bookstores, but this no longer the case The recent works, including this one, have not appeared in Canada instead, I pick them up while on trips to Europe A Girl in Exile Requiem for Linda B is a multilayered, complex story of love and loss But this no conventional love story Informing the whole of the story is the mythical tale of Orpheus who goes into Hades to lead Eurydice back into the world of the living, only to lose her forever when he disobeys the command not to look back Written originally in Albanian, the novel has been translated beautifully by John Hodgson, who also translated The Fall of the Stone City and The Accident. Linda B is the girl brought up during the communist regime in Albania She and her whole family are interned into a village, and therefore banned to enter the city of Tirana After graduating from high school in Tirana, Linda B must return to the village where her family is and never set foot in the city For a young girl whose lived and loved in the city and has so many dreams ahead this is simply murder Kadare is a master at portraying this feeling of isolation and the loss of hope that so many people suffered in communist Albania What is special about Kadare s writing is his subliminal language, there s always a sort of duality to the story Like many artists and writers this style of writing was developed and used under the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha Writers and artists were on a very close watch and for their safety of not being declared an enemy of the party, they had to find ways to create and yet stay under the radar.Being Albanian from Kosovo, for me this brings back memories of my parents talking about the 50 years of the communist isolation of Albania Linda B is ready to trade her life for eternal freedom, and so reading E penguara, is inevitably, a powerful remainder that freedom has no price. , 1800 , 2010 ,.