Albanian Approbation

20 Apr

It is with some relief that I have received the first responses to Leda from Albania, one from an Albanian and one from an American living there. The American lady thought it captured life in Albania, while the Albanian lady mistakenly thought it was a true story, which certainly seems to confirm its realism. They also both liked the book.

It’s reassuring because, for one reason and another, I wasn’t able to have the manuscript read before it went to press by anyone who knew Albania intimately. This left me with the lingering dread that, even though I wrote most of Leda while living in Albania, there would be something in the novel so outrageously wrong that Albanians would find it ridiculous – which would rather undermine a novel that purports to inform the reader about Albania. That dread is now put to rest.

An aside: If you think “approbation” in the title is an inappropriate word for a post about people approving of my book, you probably need to look up the definition. It’s a word that’s more misused than used correctly, to the extent that I think it is doomed to change its definition and mean exactly the same as “opprobrium” (with which it is confused). In that case, this post may have historical value; it may be the final place on the internet where it is used to mean approval rather than disapproval. You read it here last!

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