The powerful and stylistically brilliant saga of a family by one of contemporary Greece’s most acclaimed literary masters
Zyranna Zateli’s ambitious, multigenerational saga is the story of Christoforos, who first weds Petroula, and then Eftha, followed, after her death, by Persa; of his sexually promiscuous son Hesychios and the many bastard children left on the doorstep following the untimely demise of so many would-be daughters-in-law; and of the sisters, brothers, children, and grandchildren who inhabit a household and a history expanding to near-bursting. Rich in symbolism and magical realism, this complex and wondrous family story unfolds nonsequentially in ten interrelated “tales,” in a magnificent new English language translation by David Connolly. Unique in structure, style, and narrative voice, Zateli’s novel, considered to be her masterpiece, combines classical mythology, ethnic folklore, and actual historical events with ingenious invention. It is a touchstone of contemporary Greek literature, awarded the Greek State Prize for Best Novel in 1994, and is an essential introduction to this rightfully celebrated author.