Good Will Come from the Sea

Christos Ikonomou, trans. from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. Archipelago, $18 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-939810-21-2
Ikonomou’s melancholy collection of four loosely connected stories (following Something Will Happen, You’ll See) are all set on the same unnamed Greek island and invite readers into the wreckage of Greece’s economic collapse. The unnamed narrator of “I’ll Swallow Your Dreams” recalls the challenges of being a mainlander on the island, trying to subsist on government benefits. Locals violently harass the recent migrants from mainland Greece, and an Easter celebration sparks a showdown with unexpected results. In “Kill The German,” Chronis, owner of a pet scorpion, drifts into delusion. He imagines conversations with a talk show host and rails against the suspected sexual abuse of a neighbor girl before drastically intervening. A desperate father searches for his missing adult son in “Good Will Come from the Sea,” in which taverna owner Lazaros encourages his son, Petros, to take a chauffeur position for an erratic wealthy man. After Petros vanishes, Lazaros frantically follows every scrap of rumor to locate him. The final story, “Kites in July,” focuses on Stavros and Artemis, two recent arrivals on the island with dreams of revitalizing Artemis’s uncle’s beachfront restaurant, leading to a downward spiral and absurdist hope. The impressive diversity of voices adds depth to the bleakness of these lives trapped on the brink of survival. This powerful collection will move readers with its focus on despairing people battered by forces beyond their control. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2018
Release date: 02/05/2019
Genre: Fiction
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