For many parents, September is their favorite month. The kids are back in school and families can settle back into a routine. Stay-at-home parents can marvel at the quiet during the day as they tackle daily chores. They might even find time to read. Here are a few back to school books for your September reading list.
Beyond the Broken Statues: Modern Greek Short Stories translated by Nicholas Kostis is a wonderful anthology for those who enjoy short stories. Chronologically arranged, the stories by various famed Greek authors highlight the development of Modern Greek literature from the middle of the 19th century to 1950. The distinctive character of Greece, the influence of politics and culture imbue these stories just as they influenced the lives of the authors. The stories offer a deeper understanding of the country and the people of Greece through the remarkable contributions to literature included in the collection. Among the stories in the book are Psychology of a Husband from Syria by Emmanuel Roidis, My Mother’s Sin by George Vizyinos, Dream on the Wave by Alexandros Papadiamantis, How the Village Became Greek by Ioannis Kondilakis, In Broad Daylight by C.P. Cavafy, The Prince by Andreas Karkavitsas, The Madman With the Red Lilies by Gregorios Xenopoulos, The Little Hunchback by Stratis Myrivilis, and Mycenae by Elias Venezis. The book is available online.
Stelios Kazantzidis 1931-2001 is the life story of the iconic singer as told to Vasilis Vassilikos, acclaimed author of the political thriller Z. The book was released in 2010, nine years after the great voice of Greek music had passed away. September 14 marks the fifteenth anniversary of his death from a brain tumor. Kazantzidis talks about his parents, his life and loves, including his love of nature and fishing, his childhood during the turbulent years of occupation in World War II, and about the murder of his father by rightists when the young Kazantzidis was just 13 years old. The major historical events of the early 20th century that shaped modern Greece, the Asia Minor Catastrophe, World War II, also shaped Kazantzidis’ life and his music. The book is available online in Greek for those interested in reading more about the late singer’s life.
Sing In Me, Muse, and Through Me Tell the Story: Greek Culture Performed by Maria Hnaraki examines Greek culture in a series of ethnographic essays. The book offers insights into Greek folklore performance, literature, music, and dance and the ways in which ancient mythologies influence modern identities. Also by Hnaraki, Cretan Music: Unraveling Ariadne’s Thread is an ethnographic study of the music of Crete written in five parts as a nod to the famous, five-step, Cretan dance the pentozali. The book, published in 2007, won the Young Academic Writer and Researcher prize from the Pancretan Association. Hnaraki is a professor of anthropology, folklore, and ethnomusicology. She is the Director of Greek Studies and Associate Teaching Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia.