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Literature

Books by Thomas Doulis to Add to Your Reading List

January 13, 2020

The Hellenic-American Cultural Center and Museum of Oregon and Southwest Washington will honor professor and author Thomas Doulis on Saturday, January 25 at a book signing event for his latest novel The Eye. The event takes place at Holy Trinity Cathedral’s Fr. Elias Stephanopoulos Center, 3131 NE Glisan Street in Portland, OR, doors open at 6:30 PM with the presentation at 7 PM.

Doulis was born in western Pennsylvania and grew up in a steel town. He received his BA from La Salle College and his MFA from Stanford University. Doulis served in the Army Green Berets where he wrote the field manual on Unconventional Warfare for the Special Forces.

Returning to Philadelphia, he taught English for several years and completed the first of his seven novels. Doulis was awarded a Fulbright to lecture and study for two years in Greece and then went to Oxford to study and lecture for another two years. While there, he wrote The Asia Minor Disaster and Fiction. In 1972, he began teaching at Portland State University from which he retired in 1999. Doulis has written books and articles related to modern Greek literature and also translated books from Greek to English. Two volumes on the history of the Greeks in Oregon were published in conjunction with Holy Trinity anniversaries, including A Surge to the Sea: The Greeks in Oregon: A Photographic History of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community of Oregon and Southern Washington, and Landmarks of Our Past: The First 75 Years of the Greek Orthodox Community of Oregon.

Among his works, Out of the Ashes, The Emergence of Greek Fiction in the Nineteenth Century, was inspired by the novelist’s interest in fiction as a genre and is the product of decades of research. Doulis notes that fiction is a form that requires certain linguistic and social conditions before it can exist, let alone flourish, and in the book, he explores how the novel reemerged in the Greek language after four centuries of Ottoman Occupation. Doulis also highlights many lesser known novels of the time period.

The steel town where he grew up is partly the setting for Doulis’ The Open Hearth: The First Generation, which spans the years 1914-1937 and highlights the immigrant experience. The second novel in the series, City of Brotherly Love, spans 1946-1968. His experience in the Army, inspired his novel Path for our Valor, published by Simon and Schuster in 1963.

Doulis’ latest book titled, The Eye, is set in Philadelphia’s Greek town and follows two buddies, Socrates Straton and Bill Doyle as they navigate the perils of the Evil Eye which Socrates believes is jinxing everything he likes.

Doulis also wrote Disaster and Fiction: Modern Greek Fiction and the Asia Minor Disaster of 1922 and The Iron Storm: The Impact on Greek Culture of the Military Junta, 1967-1974. In 2001, he translated the Greek novel Thanos Vlekas by Pavlos Kalligas into English. Originally published in 1855, Thanos Vlekas is considered Greece’s first realistic social novel, portraying the problems facing the newly established Greek state after the War of Independence.

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