Kadare, Ismail (Translated by David Bellos). THE SIEGE. Edinburgh, Scotland: Canongate Books, 2008. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 328 pages. As New/As New.

Revised And Expanded Edition of the author's classic novel. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United Kingdom. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Ismail Kadare's "Keshtjella" in a felicitous English translation. First published in 1970, David Bellos' translation is based upon the 1994 French Edition that Kadare regards as the novel's definitive version. "Tells the story of fifteenth-century Ottoman invaders who lay siege to an Albanian fortress and find their assaults thwarted. Kadare mostly narrates from the Ottomans' perspective, but intersperses short, stylized accounts from the point-of-view of the besieged Christians. The novel's conscience is an official campaign-chronicler for the invaders worried about how to confect a suitably stirring account from the failure and ugliness he witnesses. The resulting tone is both antic and poignant. At one point, Ottoman soldiers, not used to seeing women unveiled, look at the faces of the women they have captured: The men think the women are laughing, but they are actually sobbing. Unless it was the other way around" (The New Yorker Magazine) . Before its collapse, Albania was the reclusive Communist state of the West, Europe's North Korea, that is, totalitarianism at its most absurd, barbaric, and paranoid. Ismail Kadare has made it his Borgesian mission to write her history through literature that has universal significance. An absolute "must-have" title for Ismail Kadare collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the publisher's special bookplate (which is neatly pasted on the front free endpaper) by Ismail Kadare. This title is a modern classic. This is one of very few signed copies of the First British Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A very scarce signed copy thus. Regarded by eminent scholars and critics as one of the greatest living writers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ISMAIL KADARE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) . ISBN 184767030X. $40.00

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