Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

What is the best-known book set in Albania?

See note on methodology

Albanian literature is dominated by a single writer, born in 1936 and still living. Seven of the eight books most frequently tagged "Albania" on Goodreads are by him, and nine of the top ten on LibraryThing. I've read half a dozen of his works, and enjoyed them all very much. The two top books on both LT and GR are:

Broken April / Prilli i Thyer, by Ismail Kadare (top on GR, second on LT)
The Palace of Dreams / Pallati i Enderrave, by Ismail Kadare (top on LT, second on GR

However, I'm sorry to say that neither of them is today's winner. Despite their excellence as literature, both have been well outsold by a mildly funny Cold War thriller, published and set in 1966, about a grandmother who is recruited by the CIA to go undercover in Mexico and ends up imprisoned in Albania. It is the first of a series of 14 novels (I wonder how they would hold up to the passage of time) and has been filmed twice, once starring Rosalind Russell (in her last role) and one with (of course) Angela Lansbury. It is:

The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax, by Dorothy Gilman

Apart from that, though, it's I.K. all the way.
Tags: famous books by geography, world: albania
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