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.
Available for purchase here.
Tatiana Averoff is the author of five novels. Her work has received numerous awards and nominations and has appeared in edited volumes, magazines and newspapers throughout Greece. Since 1995, she has served as Director of the Averoff Museum of Modern Greek Art in Metsovo, part of the Evangelos Averoff-Tossizza Foundation, a public service institution over which she has presided as chairwoman since its foundation in 1988. Since 1991, she has also served as Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Baron Michael Tossizza Foundation which, since the 1950s, has played a pivotal role in the economic development and cultural renaissance of the region.
Translator: Patricia Felisa Barbeito is Professor of American Literatures at the Rhode Island School of Design and a translator of Greek fiction and poetry.