First Award of Greek Academy 2013
A young man has a friendly chat with his deceased grandmother.
An office clerk turns into a stapler.
Poet Francois Villon makes a fresh start.
Yiorgos becomes a pensioner.
Seventeen short stories on the blurred borderline between reality and its opposites; stories drawn from the mountainous mainland of Northern Greece, as well as stories on the under-aged adults of the city; stories bathing on the shores of an artificial lake. Some of the characters in the “Joke” struggle to overcome the back-country harsh life; others struggle to face the fact that they have simply become adults. All of them attempt some kind of escape; some succeed, others don’t.
Roughly half of the book’s stories evolve in the vein of the American Dirty realism school, with an extra drop of dark humor; the rest take on a dreamlike approach reminiscent of the Magic realism style of the Latin American novelists.
The Greek short story tradition, highlighting rural life, is also a rich source of inspiration. “Joke”, awarded Best Short Story Collection of the Year (2012) by Anagnostis Magazine, is a collection of stories that reads like a bitter joke on life’s main certainty: death.
This project has been funded with support from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Commission.