Title: The General of the Dead Army

Author: Ismail Kadare

Original language: Albanian

Translation(s): 37 languages

Context: The General of the Dead Army (2003) is a translated novel by Ismail Kadare. This is one of the most critically acclaimed novels of the author. The story is about an Italian general with a chaplain accompanying him. He is charged with an expedition of scouring Albania where he looks for bones of their deprived people of the country whose lives were taken 2 decades earlier during World War II.

Synopsis: Around 2 decades of the World War II, during the early 1960, an Italian general accompanied by an Italian army colonel who is also a priest, are ordered to go to Albania. The army colonel has to identify and gather the bones of his countrymen who lost their lives during the war. After this he has to return back to Italy and bury them. Accordingly both of them reach Albania and begin organizing disinterment and digs at the same time pondering over the vastness of this task.

The priest and army colonel discuss about how meaningless the endeavor had been and how futile the war had proved to be. As they delve deeper into the countryside area of Albania they discover that another general is following them and is looking for bodies of dead German soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. Just like his Italian counterpart he struggles with the task of looking for bodies to be taken for burial back home. He too has questions regarding the importance of such actions related to national pride.


Other works by the Author:

Novels and Novellas

1965 – The Monster

1967 – The Wedding

1970 – The Siege

1971 – Chronicle in Stone

1972 – The Great Winter

1975 – November of a Capital

1978 – Twilight of the Eastern Gods

1978 – The Three-arched Bridge

1978 – The Traitor’s Niche

1980 – Broken April

1980 – The Ghost Rider

1981 – The Palace of Dreams

1985 – A Moonlit Night

1985 – The Dark Year

1985 – The Wedding Procession Turned to Ice

1988 – The Concert

1989 – The File on H.

1991 – The Blinding Order

1992 – The Pyramid

1994 – The Shadow

1995 – The Eagle

1996 – Spiritus

1959 – The City with no Signs

2000 – Spring Flowers, Spring Frost

2003 – Agamemnon’s Daughter

2003 – The Successor

2003 – Life, Game and Death of Lul Mazrek

2005 – A Question of Lunacy

2008 – The Fall of the Stone City

2009 – A Girl in Exile

2010 – The Accident

2014 – Tirana’s Mists

2015 –The Doll


1998 – Dull Season in Olympus


2009 – Frightened Gazelles