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09/03/24      TIN HOUSE BOOKS

"An absolutely gorgeous novel, taut as a thriller, lovely as a watercolor, poetically incisive and wry. I devoured this book and was heartbroken when it was over. Ledia Xhoga is a great and visionary writer whose career I will follow eagerly in decades to come."—Jennifer Croft, author of The Extinction of Irena Rey

"Xhoga's novel about a woman whose life is on the brink of unraveling because of her good intentions explores the complexity of translating our own trauma, even to the people we love. With lyrical prose and a propulsive plot, Xhoga delves deep into the shadows of the human psyche, challenging readers to confront the darker legacies of the past while pondering the delicate balance between empathy and self-preservation. Ledia Xhoga has crafted a literary masterpiece that is as profound as it is unforgettable, solidifying her place as a talent to watch in the world of contemporary fiction."

—Maisy Card, author of These Ghosts are Family


“If in the twenty-first-century Kafka had moved from Prague to Brooklyn, Misinterpretation is the novel I believe he would have written. Instead, Ledia Xhoga wrote it. She captures a corollary world to the one Josef K. inhabits in The Castle, but rather than not being able to reach the castle Xhoga’s nameless protagonist finds herself living in the castle, a polyglot culture in which everyone misinterprets what everyone else says and does; some residents even misinterpret their own emotions. Xhoga interprets our brave, new multicultural world with a sly, benign wit. Read her novel. You’ll be glad you did.”

—Tom Grimes, author of Mentor

"Ledia Xhoga casts a riveting spell in this novel of an Albanian interpreter whose own shifting reality is as subject to misinterpretation as the words of her clients. A stunning debut."

—Elizabeth Gaffney, author of When the World Was Young

In present-day New York City, an Albanian interpreter reluctantly agrees to work with Alfred, a Kosovar torture survivor, during his therapy sessions. Despite her husband’s cautions, she soon becomes entangled in her clients’ struggles: Alfred's nightmares stir up her own buried memories, and an impulsive attempt to help a Kurdish poet leads to a risky encounter and a reckless plan. 

As ill-fated decisions stack up, jeopardizing the nameless narrator’s marriage and mental health, she takes a spontaneous trip to reunite with her mother in Albania, where her life in the United States is put into stark relief. When she returns to face the consequences of her actions, she must question what is real and what is not. Ruminative and propulsive, Ledia Xhoga’s debut novel Misinterpretation interrogates the darker legacies of family and country, and the boundary between compassion and self-preservation.

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