This book chronicles Greece’s turbulent history during the first half of the twentieth century as it both shaped and was shaped by one of its most distinguished political figures, Evangelos Averoff-Tossizza. Written by his daughter, the book is part historical biography, part coming-of-age novel, part memoir. It draws extensively on Averoff’s prolific literary oeuvre and personal archives, while weaving seamlessly back and forth from past to present in a voice all its own. We follow the protagonist from his birth in 1908, when Greece was still a monarchy reeling from the losses of the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, to the late 1940s and the Civil War, by which time Averoff had become a seasoned, cosmopolitan politician. In the interim, as the protagonist contends with the vagaries of history and a captivating cast of supporting characters, we see him grow into a living, breathing person, endowed with the complexity and humour so often denied the one-dimensional figures of official history. A labour of love and a meditation on loss and transcendence, the book celebrates the raw pain, passion, ambition, love and, at times, sheer luck that shape who we are.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2018. XXIV, 384 pp., 20 b/w ill.
CONTENTS: Birth, 17 April 1908 - The Call of the Earth - Lollis, Larissa, Summer 1918 - The Bounties of the Threshing Floor,
Larissa, Summer 1919 - Mika - Uprooting - Rebirth, Athens 1920 - Land of Sorrow - Past and Present - On the Magic Mountain
- The Long Winter - Farewells - Third Birth - Post Tenebras Lux - Γη Δελφύς - Pougio - In the Time of the Big Wind
- Where Many Fall, Death Has No Meaning - The Prefect, 2 March 1941 - Taketh This Cup from Me - Under Occupation - This is
Greece, Larissa, 1942 - Farewell, Larissa, 29 April 1942 - Fourth Birth - When the Gods Forgot - In Excellent Health and Spirits
- A Fugitive in Rome - Liberty or Death - Repatriations - Fifth Birth - Metsovo! Metsovo! - Walnuts Trees in the Stony Earth