by Ismail Kadare - £8.99 Canongate Books Ltd (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780857866196 | ISBN 10: 0857866192
1958. In a dorm room in Moscow, a young writer is woken by the sound of angry voices on the radio. Through the fog of a hangover he hears the news that a novel called Doctor Zhivago has earned its author the Nobel Prize. There is uproar. The author, Boris Pasternak, faces exile, the press hound him and demand that he refuse the award. A few days earlier the young writer found a copy of this book - could those simple pages really be so dangerous?
Based on Ismail Kadare's own experience, Twilight of the Eastern Gods is a fictionalised recreation of his time as a student at the prestigious Gorky Institute for World Literature - a strange 'factory of the intellect' set up to produce a new generation of Socialist writers. With its drunken nights, uninspiring professors, specially selected students and enforced Socialist Realism his time at the Gorky Institute brought Kadare to the brink of abandoning writing altogether.
In English for the first time, Twilight of the Eastern Gods is a portrait of a city and a time, it is a story of youth, of disenchantment and of the incredible importance of the written word.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2015)
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