Albanian writer Ismail Kadare has received the title “Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor” in France.
The internationally renowned author was bestowed the title on 31 December 2019 by French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron. Kadare spent many years in France and published a number of works there including “The General of the Dead Army”, one of his most well-known books.
Kadare has received a number of prestigious awards over the years including the Cino del Duca World Award in 1992, the Man Booker Prize International in 2005, the Prince of Asturias Award in 2009, the Neustadt International in 2019 and the Pak Kyongni Award in the same year.
In 2016, Kadare was awarded the title Commander of the Legion of Honor. The writer, who now lives between France and Albania, became a foreign associate at the French Academy of Morals, Politics and Sciences in 1996, after the death of Karl Popper.
Kadare has been criticised for portraying himself as a dissident during the Communist regime, whilst holding office and being a member of the people’s assembly. It has also been discussed how he benefited from a significant level of privilege during Communism, while his colleagues and contemporaries were imprisoned, persecuted, and even killed.
Criticism aside, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest European writers and intellectuals of the 20th Century and his writings have been translated into some 20 languages. His most known titles in English include The General of the Dead Army, The Siege, Chronicle In Stone, Broken April., The Palace of Dreams and The File on H.
His former apartment in the centre of Tirana has recently opened as a tourist attraction. Shtepia Studio Kadare is a part of a block designed by architect Maks Velo in 1972 and is known as “The Palace of Cubes”.