Myrto Azina Chronides, The Experiment, Garnet Publishing: Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 2010 The Experiment can be described as ‘a study of erotic love and the soul’. The two main characters undertake to write a play together, as an experiment, to see if they can succeed where others have failed, in achieving true collaboration and union through their writing. They come up with the story and the plot together; she writes the female character, he the male. She, ‘a woman in perpetual search’, is an unbowed woman who claims her freedom and he, ‘a wise man, a believer in the Socratic, “All I know is that I know nothing”’, participate in the experiment on equal terms. The erotic couple is called to recognize, through writing and literature, his/her other half, his/her mate and eventually the self as other.
The result of this experiment is a stream of consciousness and a collection of tales in which themes such as love, sex, religious ecstasy, psychiatry and myth are intertwined. The book’s style is unique, as it attempts to unify subtly connected narratives, partial tales that lean toward the structure of a more synthetic prose piece, but which cannot be regarded as either novella or novel.
The book in its original Greek was awarded the prestigious European Prize for Literature in 2011. The aim of this prize is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. Translated into English, The Experiment offers the reader a unique and enriching reading experience which transcends literary and cultural norms.
Kyriakos Charalambides, Selected Poems, Southword Editions: Kyriakos Charalambides is a Greek Cypriot whose work sings in the odes of western culture, yet is most at home upon the stage of Greek civilisation. He specifically speaks in the tradition of the Modern Greek poets Cavafy, Seferis and Elytis, but in his own Cypriot register. Kyriakos Charalambides is the recognised voice of Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Nouritza Matossian, Black Angel, Overlook: In this first full-scale biography of the artist Robert Hughes called “a kind of Bridge of Sighs between Surrealism and America,” Nouritza Matossian charts the life of Arshile Gorky, one of the most mysterious of major twentieth-century artists. Born in Armenia, he survived the Turkish genocide begun in 1915 and arrived in America in 1920. One of the first abstract expressionists, he was a major influence on the New York art scene, which included de Kooning, Rothko, Pollock, and others. After a devastating series of illnesses, injuries, and personal setbacks, he committed suicide at the age of 46.
Nora Nadjarian, Girl, Wolf, Bones, Folded Word: In this collection, Nora Nadjarian takes us on an alternative trip through the fables and fairy tales of our youth. The short stories in this chapbook explore multiple viewpoints of the same event with wit and imagination. “Once upon a time” takes on a modern flavor by exchanging Bavarian forests for IKEA, television commercials, and public transport. Even “happily ever after” is more redefined than guaranteed. Goldilocks, the Three Pigs, the Emperor, Sleeping Beauty—Nora gives these beloved characters, along with their cohorts, new life in Girl, Wolf, Bones.