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Literature

Rassogianis’ Stories of Life, Love, and Remembrance

August 12, 2019

Collections of short stories are often a great option for fans of fiction since they can have all the power and resonance of a longer novel, packed into a few pages in each of the stories included in the volume. Early in their careers, writers are often told to try their hand at writing short stories before tackling a novel. The skill set involved, however, is a bit different, as is the effect on the reader.

As Stephen King wrote in his introduction to his own short story collection, Skeleton Crew, “Reading a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair,” while “A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.”

Short Stories of Life, Love, and Remembrance by Alexander Rassogianis presents 16 stories bringing to life characters grappling with the beauty and tragedy of everyday life, from the shattering trauma of war to the delicate anguish of seeing change in a longtime friendship. Other stories in the collection focus on the nostalgia centered on childhood memories of a wondrous tree swing and an intriguing bond forged in suffering during a horrible ocean crossing. With settings from the United States to Athens and Russia, the stories highlight acts of redemption and amazing coincidences, offering the opportunity to embrace, celebrate, and illuminate moments that connect to our shared humanity.

Born in Chicago, Alexander Rassogianis has roots in Sparta. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Elmhurst College and a master’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He taught in Chicago schools for over 15 years. Rassogianis then served as a compliance officer and investigated labor discrimination cases for the U.S. government for 20 years.

The author’s previous books include his autobiography/memoir Return to Glenlord: Memories of Michigan Summers, the nonfiction work The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Greek Immigrant in Chicago, Illinois 1900-1930, and his debut novel Rainbow over Portland.

Rassogianis’ summers with his family in southwestern Michigan during the 1950s inspired Return to Glenlord in which he offers his readers a glimpse of the era of old-fashioned resorts, quaint little cottages, sandy beaches, long walks on country roads, and the permeating scent of pine.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Greek Immigrant in Chicago, Illinois 1900-1930, celebrates the contributions of the Greeks in the early part of the 20th century highlighting the history of those hardworking people and sharing the lessons they learned about business and life. In the book’s description, when one shop owner is asked the secret of his success, he replied, “Just hard work, that’s all. Nobody can move you, no matter how strong they are.” The Petropulos Range Co., the Collias and Menegas Restaurant, and Rusetos and Company Ice Cream are among the names mentioned in the book as well as other companies with names based on Greek cities or mythological and historical characters.

Rassogianis’ debut novel, Rainbow over Portland: A Spiritual Journey to Redeem Lost Love is an action/adventure/romance that begins when Nick from Chicago meets Colleen from Ireland on a train to Portland, Oregon.

Short Stories of Life, Love, and Remembrance by Alexander Rassogianis and his previous books are all available online.

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