Donal Ryan’s Spinning Heart, translated to Greek by Gregory Papadoyiannis

Η καρδιάThis is the first book of the ‘’Strange Days in Europe’’ translation program. It is one of a total of eight books, five of which belong to authors from five different countries, and three are books from the ‘’strange days’’ that will be translated into Spanish. This program is co-financed by the European Union’s ‘’Creative Europe’’ platform. It would not be possible to do otherwise, especially from a small cooperative publishing house in the region of Greece. When your ambitions exceed the reality as defined by the publishing landscape in our country, you look for ways out there. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find it. So this program, which approved the strange days proposal  in 2019 (the only publisher from Greece that received such a honour) was the reason we now offer to the reading public of our country some excellent books that otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet. First among them, “The Spinning Heart,” by Irish author Donal Ryan,  a multi- award-winning book, among others, praised with the European Union Literary Prize. We did not choose any of the books by chance. In each of them we believe that you will find a piece of your own “heart”. It is a narrative of those who seal their time. The book was rejected by 47 publishers – who “feared” to publish it (apparently because it was too realistic for their own measures) to find their way in and then sweep the awards and distinctions in his country and across Europe. It is a shocking book, one of the most important literary works of our time and at the same time it is an “our” book. You will understand this very easily when you will be absorbed in reading and get to know the people who speak on its pages. You will recognize very familiar characters, very familiar voices, situations very close to us. And not just because the plot unfolds in the years of the economic crisis of the past decade that have hurt the two countries just as badly, Ireland and Greece. The similarities go much deeper and essentially extend to the roots of human tragicomedy. We are all the same there. But we need a very special work like “The Spinning Heart”, to feel it deep in our soul. Coincidentally, the book was written during the time of a huge economic crisis that affected both Ireland and Greece (as well as many other countries, of course) and is to be released in our country amid a global crisis. It is, by analogy, the “Grapes of Wrath” of the 21st century. But that’s just one reason to read it. The rest are about its unique literary value, the power of narration, the heartbreaking realism in the depiction of the life of a series of human figures who suffer the consequences of a world in crisis, its unique ingenuity in the way the author speaks. from twenty one characters and his mastery of the technique reminiscent of a theatrical monologue with which he “speaks” through these people to the reader. The ‘’original’’ spinning heart as you will see while reading the book  is a rusty toy at the front door of a farmhouse that is blown away by the wind. Through this minimal symbol, Donal Ryan depicts the way our heart turns here and there, a harbinger of fate, the absurdities of fate and these decisions that always regulate our lives in absentia and let them hover in the games of the wind. of the times. Our refuge now and always will be art, solidarity and love. Love that surrounds this book. Vanity  love, despair love, lost love and against everything, persistent love. Love for what has been lost, love for what will never happen, love for what we hope will come. So we invite you to a journey of self-knowledge, despair and hope at the same time. Spinning Heart, it is of those special books, which, as some critics point out, “you remember forever.”΄

The Great Runaway!

New book by Gregory Papadoyiannis!  
The novellete ”The Great Runaway”

Μεγάλη φυγήThe book refers to the hypothetical case that Greeks suddenly leave their country by thousands and begin to walk to northern Europe. Where will they go? How will those who have stayed in the nearly desolate country react? How will the government of Greece and other countries react? And most importantly, what exactly do all these (voluntary)fugitives want to do with their life?

”The Great Runaway”, 122 pages, price 10 euros, ISBN: 978-618-5278-22-9
released in Greece in December, 20th, 2018.
Publishing consultant: Andriana Minou

 

 

Judging …Dreams

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Gregory Papadoyiannis is the judge of the Eyelands First International Flash Fiction Contest. The contest runs from January 20th through March 20th, 2018. The theme of the contest this year is Dreams”/ First prize: A week holiday οn the island of Crete (for 2 people)/ Three prize winners will see their story published in anthology, handmade and get gifts, and a complimentary copy of the anthology.  The contest is a collaboration through Eyelands.gr (online literature magazine) & Strange Days Books (publishing firm)

Eyelands.gr literary magazine in collaboration with Strange Days Books  organize an annual international short story competition, which is the only international short story contest based in Greece. Every year, writers from all the continents of the world participate in it. The competition consists of two categories; Greek and International (for the international section we only accept stories in English).
The competition has been running continuously for the past seven years, offering hundreds of writers the opportunity to see their short story printed in one of our collections, created through the contest entries. For many of these writers it is the first time that a story of theirs is printed in a book or featured online. The jury reads all submissions blind.
The English section of the competition has been recognized as a truly reliable, fair and serious short story competition. Every year, many reputable websites post the announcement of our contest, which has earned its reputation year after year, by honoring all its promises, following the rules meticulously and meeting all criteria that allow a contest to gain respect and recognition on an international level.

Eyelands’ Strange Love Affairs

Happy 7th birthday to Eyelands! The team celebrates seven years since our first day among friends and the writers of our latest short story collection release. This is of course ‘’Strange Love Affairs’’, the Greek version with the shortlisted stories of the International Short Story Contest, greek section – 2017.

The collection in English with the shortlisted stories of the International section will be released with the same title in Greece and worldwide via amazon on 20th of December, 2017.

The photo was taken at Polis Art Café, where the celebration and book-launch took place last Saturday, November 25.

Eyelands’ ISSC is the one and only short story contest based in Greece. Next year there will be an Eyelands Flash Fiction Contest too for the first time.

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From the left: Apostolos Lagarias, Giannis Petrakis, Andriana Minou, Antonis Tsirikoudis and Gregory Papadoyiannis, happy anniversary people representing Eyelands.gr & Strange days books & the Sand Festival

Gregory is eyelands co-founder and editor in chief since day – one!

 

52 eyelands: a genre-busting guide to the Greek Islands

Lane Ashfeldt/Review
Writing on August 30, 2013

8.JPGI never take a guidebook on my travels. That way, I don’t have to worry about the long lists of things I need to ‘cover’ (and which, invariably, I will fail to do). But if I ever revisit the Greek Islands, I might just be packing my copy of Gregory Papadoyiannis’s genre-busting guidebook 52 eyelands.  Far from stressing you out with detailed lists, Papadoyiannis offers only the lightest touch of “must sees”. In fact, among the book’s top tips for travel is the refreshing advice to set aside all guidebooks or maps as soon as you can, and trust your instincts instead. Papadoyiannis is a Greek author, a native of the island of Crete. Although he has been visiting the Greek islands each summer for decades, he is a slow traveller, and still has a couple of dozen islands left to see.

Here’s a couple of tiny snippets from the start of his ‘sentimental journey through the Greek islands’.

Kythnos
Kythnos is not the first hat (or car) that an ordinary salesperson would bring out for you to see. He would want to show you some flashier models first, because that’s how he learnt to do things. In the same way, no travel guide for the Greek islands starts off with Kythnos – no one would even think of beginning with this island.

Milos
Milos is rather known because of a wonderful statue, Aphrodite of Milo (Venus de Milo), which ironically, you will never see in the island. You will have to go to the Louvre. Let us return to the island now. There is no space to deal with thieveries of the past.

The tone of the book is relaxed and accepting of the traveller’s lot: things may go awry from time to time, but that is to be expected. Sometimes the ferry is late and the bus driver who is paid to meet it gives up waiting and goes home to bed, and so the disembarking passengers must reach their destinations on foot. But Papadoyiannis makes light of such challenges. However bad the situation, he remains an optimist. What you must do, he seems to be saying, is keep going, and the next day you will find the good stuff.

Another positive thing about this project is, it is one of the first batch of books to be published by new Greek press, Paraxenes Meres, (Strange Days) which is just starting on its own travels – and on the strength of this book, an interesting journey may lie ahead.

Sustained throughout 52 eyelands is the voice of a travelling companion who is always careful not to tell you too much, always conscious that travel is about making choices and that since each traveller is different, each has discoveries of their own awaiting them on the islands he knows and loves so well.

At last: a no-spoilers guidebook. This could be a thing.

 

ABOUT LANE ASHFELDT
Lane Ashfeldt’s short fiction is published in literary journals in Ireland, England, Greece and the US, and in anthologies from ‘Punk Fiction’ to the rather more genteel ‘Dancing With Mr Darcy’. A collection, SaltWater, (“imaginative, fast-moving stories with satisfying endings”—The Examiner) is published by Liberties Press.

 

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