Miss 4th of July, Goodbye: A Novel Based on the Life of Niki (Born Xenopoulos) Janus

Christopher G. Janus, Author Lake View Press $0 (224p) ISBN 978-0-934831-00-0
In his poignant first novel, Janus (co-author of The Search for Peking Man) uses the epistolary form to present a fictional story based on the experiences of his teenage sister Niki, who emigrated from Greece to Montgomery, W. Va. in 1917. In letters to her grandfather, Niki describes her jubilation upon arrival, but disillusionment soon diminishes her glee. Although most of the town's residents are upstanding, the Ku Klux Klan persecutes blacks, Jews and foreigners. Because of their nationality and Niki's outspokenness, the Janus family is also harassed. A cross is burned on their lawn; a rock bearing a threatening note shatters a window; Niki endures insults from some of her peers. Ambivalence wracks the girl, for though she relishes America's liberated social ways, prejudice repels her. Despite these torments, Niki doggedly retains her dignity and wins acceptance just before another crisis confronts her. Janus movingly communicates Niki's winsome youth and integrity, as well as the injustice of discrimination. January 15
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Genre: Fiction
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