Fragoulis roots her 2012 novel in the Greco-Turkish blues, including lyrics of well-known rebetiko songs that she has translated to transport the reader into the world of Kivelli—who, like many of her fellow refugees, pours herself into music to forget the trauma of losing everything she has known.
Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 novel is not a story about how a “great” writer seduced his young student and how their marriage fell apart. It is a story of something far more compelling: a woman who has hidden her talent behind a man.
Edward Fenton’s 1982 novel is perhaps one of the better fictional accounts of living at the privileged periphery of a political and then refugee crisis. Importantly, it is also a children’s novel.
Lucette Lagnado’s 2007 memoir is a testament to the difficulties that are so inherent to the immigration process that even a family of people who are educated, upper-class, and well-off experience them.
While the focus of Louis de Bernières’ 1994 book is the love story between a young woman, Pelagia, and Captain Antonio Corelli, one of the many side plots is that of the ruin of Mandras, Pelagia’s first fiancé, at the hands of masculine ideals.
The stories of Ikonomou’s new collection revel in ambiguity, illustrating the crisis in a more nuanced way than many of the “crisis lit” works that reach the U.S. Importantly, too, they demonstrate Ikonomou’s gift for Greek in its rawest spoken form.
George Saunders’ most recent book acknowledges that to write a historical novel is to look at bones and imagine them as flesh and spirit.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s work in Italian is reminiscent of liturgy books with Koine Greek on the left side and English on the other. That she includes the “little brother,” a moniker she’s given Italian, in her 2015 book—and on the left side—is a reversal of the norm.
“Weak expression Poor artistry,” reads the fictional note in red pencil on Constantine Cavafy’s sheaf of poems sent to the poet Jean Moréas in Ersi Sotiropoulos’s 2015 novel, translated by Karen Emmerich.
Claire Messud’s novel intimately considers the legacy and trauma of the pieds-noirs through the story of a family living in Marseilles, France in the 1980s and 1990s.