Ismail Kadare has experienced a life of controversy. In his own country and internationally, he has been both acclaimed as a writer and condemned as a lackey of the Albanian socialist dictatorship. Coming of age after occupation and war, Kadare (b. 1936) belonged to the first generation of new Albanians. In a land where writers were routinely imprisoned, Kadare produced the most brilliant and subversive works to emerge from socialist Eastern Europe. His work brings to an end the century whose literary beginnings were marked by the terror to which Kafka gave his name. The inaugural award of the International Man-Booker Prize for Literature in 2005 marked an important milestone in the global recognition of Kadare. Ironic, multi-layered and imaginative, Kadare's writing is profoundly opposed to ideology. Through critical analysis of a representative selection of Kadare's works, Peter Morgan explains for a wide audience how Kadare survived and wrote in the repressive Albanian Stalinist environment.