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Robert Elsie
Albanian Literature

Albanian Authors








Isuf Luzaj (1913-2000) was born in Kanina near Vlora and went to school in Shkodra. He studied at the Sorbonne in Paris from 1933-1935. Forced to interrupt his education, he returned to Albania and worked as a French teacher in Elbasan, Korça and Vlora. From 1940 to 1941 he was imprisoned in Italy, but thereafter returned to Albania as a resistance figure in the anti-Communist Balli Kombëtar (National Front) movement. During the Communist takeover in 1944, he fled to Italy where he worked as a teacher of Latin in Brescia. In 1948 Luzaj emigrated to Argentina where he studied literature and lived for seventeen years. In 1960 he was director of the French institute for higher studies in Buenos Aires. He moved to the United States in 1965 where he taught French and Spanish at the University of New Hampshire. He died in Chicago on 24 November 2000 and was buried, in accordance with his last wish, in Vlora.

Luzaj is the author of verse and short stories, as well as of political, philosophical and scholarly writings. His works were little known in Albania until recently. Among his verse publications are: Gloria e çmendjes (The Glory of Insanity), Tirana 1995; and Lamtumira e yjeve (The Farewell of the Stars), Tirana 2001.