At the opening of chapter 87—the first chapter found in The Tree with No Name—Janez Lipnik finds himself up a tree, shoeless, and lost in the Slovenian countryside. He makes his way to a house where he is taken in by a woman teacher who is waiting for her lover, a soldier. It becomes clear we are at the height of World War II. Soon after, we follow Lipnik’s unwilling participation in a siege. Up to this point, we might be reading an Ismael Kadare novel, with the wartime setting, brisk description, and touches of leavening humor. Lipnik’s aggregation of ignorance and peculiarly anachronistic memories suggest to the reader from the very beginning that, despite his guileless manner, the protagonist is more complex than he seems.