Misinterpretation

Ledia Xhoga

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.