In the Balkan Peninsula, history’s long-disputed bridge between Asia and Europe, the receding Byzantine empire has left behind a patchwork of warring peoples who fight over everything, from their pastures of sheep to the authorship of their countless legends.
One such gruesome tale declares that a castle under construction cannot be finished until a young mason’s bride has been walled up alive, one breast left exposed to suckle her growing infant even after her death. Myth becomes perverse reality when a mason is plastered into a bridge over a strategically important river, where his will not be the last human sacrifice.
Ismail Kadare is the winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize, and is Albania's best-known poet and novelist. He is acclaimed worldwide as one of the most important writers of our time. Translations of his novels have been published in more than forty countries. He divides his time between Paris, France, and Tirana, Albania.