Translated by Joshua Barley
Cover artwork by Panagiotis Stavropoulos
size: 20.5 x 13.5 cm.
Serenity follows the journey of a group of Greek refugees who were displaced from their homeland in Asia Minor and settled in the summer of 1923 in a desolate corner of the coast, near Athens. Told in the author’s characteristic sparse, lyrical style and inspired by his own experience of migration, it details their hatred of war, their love for the nature surrounding them, the hostility of their new neighbours and their struggle to find meaning as they adapt to a new life. Though published in 1937, Serenity is a timely evocation of the eternal condition of the refugee, as seen by a writer with a deeply human eye.
Ever since I read Karagatsis’s ingenious take on The Scarlet Letter I have thought it had to be translated into English! The Great Chimera, a story of a woman finding her pleasure in adverse conditions, told without judgment, even with a certain vindication, wraps the reader up in its windy nights on the isle of Syros. We are the woman as she walks down the hill to the port, seeking solace from a sea captain who is not her husband. Barbeito’s translation makes everything real for us. A stunning achievement!
Karen Van Dyck
Kimon A. Doukas Professor
of Hellenic Studies
Among the novelists of Greece’s generation of the Thirties, it is Karagatsis whose works still have the greatest appeal to the common reader. Patricia Barbeito’s dextrous translation of Chimera—the first in English—gives a good sense of why this is the case. A new audience will now discover Karagatsis’ vivid narrative gifts.
Professor of Modern Greek
& Comparative Literature
King’s College London