From the moment that Gjorg's brother is killed by a neighbour, his own life is forfeit: for the code of Kanun requires Gjorg to kill his brother's murderer and then in turn be hunted down. After shooting his brother's killer, young Gjorg is entitled to thirty days' grace - not enough to see out the month of April.
Then a visiting honeymoon couple cross the path of the fugitive. The bride's heart goes out to Gjorg, and even these 'civilised' strangers from the city risk becoming embroiled in the fatal mechanism of vendetta.
His work is as immense as Balzac's, as unrelenting in its critique of dictatorship as Orwell's, and as disturbingly fantastical as Kafka's. It is an invention as well as a reflection of what it means to be Albanian, and an exploration of both the ugliness and the dignity of a small, ancient, oppressed nation. Kadare is perhaps the last 'national writer' of European history
Broken April, a haunting account of the paroxism of the vendetta in northern Albania between the wars, is one of the twin peaks of Kadare's career
The story is plain, the telling plainer, yet the overall effect is mysterious and elusive as only a fable can be
With Broken April Mr Kadare comes to the forefront as a major international novelist
Forcefully and simply written...completely authentic