Landscape with Dog and Other Stories

Ersi Sotiropoulos, Author, Karen Emmerich, Translator , trans. from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. Interlink/Clockroot $15 (166p) ISBN 978-1-56656-773-2

Greek author Sotiropoulos (Zigzag Through the Bitter-Orange Trees ) depicts the hollow, deceptive civility hidden within intimate relationships in this capably translated story collection featuring lovers, married couples, brothers and parents. In “An Almost Guinea Fowl,” a husband and wife pull away from the brink of marital collapse after a dinner party game of Truth or Dare. A young man drifts toward waste and inertia over an adolescent romance gone sour in “Kissing the Air.” “Aren't You Going to Walk the Dog?” features a mother and her teenaged daughter facing off in a rancorous, controlling game of chicken. Other stories showcase the author's dark, effective devices, such as throwing together antipathetic characters in unfamiliar locales: in “The Pinball King,” two sparring brothers and an Italian tourist couple wind up lost on the way to Delphi, eventually taking refuge with a goat-herding couple. Each story demonstrates compelling depth and breadth, and involves heavy emotional stakes; perhaps the most nerve-wracking are the author-fan confrontation in “So You Like Literature” and the estranged father-daughter relationship in “Rain at the Construction Site.” (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/19/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
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