Karen Emmerich Archive
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.
“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.
Anglophone readers owe a debt to translator and professor Dr. Karen Emmerich for her many contributions to Greek literature in translation. Currently a professor of Comparative Litearture at Princeton University, Emmerich has translated everyone from Yiannis Ritsos to Margarita Karapanou to Christos Ikonomou.
Since Chad Post, founding publisher of Open Letter Books, created The Three Percent blog in 2007, the term the “three percent” has become a household one to highlight the percentage of translated books published in the United States.
Though Ikonomou’s characters are faced with Greece’s economic crisis, and the collection is beholden to particular circumstance, place, and time, Something Will Happen is not so particular as to be prohibitive. It’s spare. It’s intricate, full of heart and heft, and about the crisis only insofar as it enters
Christos Ikonomou is the author of three short story collections, including Something Will Happen, You’ll See (Archipelago Books, trans. Karen Emmerich, 2016), for which he won the National Short Story Prize. Something Will Happen, You’ll See, a devastating and sparingly written collection of stories about the Greek crisis in