Koula

Menis Koumandareas, Author, Kay Cicellis, Translator , trans. from the Greek by Kay Cicellis. Dalkey Archive $11.95 (88p) ISBN 978-1-56478-406-3

Dimitri, a handsome 21-year-old attracted to older women, sometimes sleeps with them for pocket money. But in this first of the three-time Greek National Book Award–winner's works to find an American publisher, insistent desire trumps calculated commerce. Dimitri encounters Koula, a mature married woman, sitting across from him one evening on an Athens subway car. Over the course of their regular 20-minute journeys together, their connection escalates: his furtive gaze meets her faltering smile, and soon they are flirting openly. Finally, their tumultuous physical and turbulent emotional affair takes wing—a scant few weeks of lust consummated at a seedy gay taverna, several discreet tearooms and, most centrally, a rundown one-room apartment plastered with photographs of nude women. Koumandareas chronicles the mix of a young man's boldness, an older woman's desire and their urgent need for each other with elegiac precision and subtlety, packing a full novel's worth of drama, passion and sex into a novella. Based on the excellence of this slim book, Koumandareas's other novels (Two Times Greek ; The Glass Factory ; etc.) could well be worthy of American publication. (Dec. 20)

Reviewed on: 09/26/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X