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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Albanian to collect World Booker
Ismail Kadare
Ismail Kadare's most recent novel is Spring Flowers, Spring Frost
Albanian novelist and dissident Ismail Kadare will collect the inaugural Booker International Prize at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Monday.

The presentation will take place at the National Museum of Scotland, following a civic reception and a public debate on international writing awards.

Kadare said he felt "deeply honoured" to receive the biennial 60,000 prize.

Other contenders for the award included Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood and Britain's Ian McEwan.

The presentation of the award will follow a day of events in the Scottish capital, Unesco's first City of Literature.


Kadare was banned by the former communist authorities in Albania, and his French publishers had to smuggle his books out of the country.

He was granted political asylum in France in 1990 and has lived there ever since. "Dictatorship and authentic literature are incompatible," he once said.

Kadare's novels and poems have been translated in more than 40 countries.

His debut work, The General of the Dead Army, written in 1963, remains his best-known novel.

Professor John Carey, chairman of the judges, described Kadare as "a universal writer in a tradition of storytelling that goes back to Homer".

The International Booker is awarded every two years to a living author writing in English, or translated into the English language.

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