In an idyllic Greek island lives a strange boy with no name; he’s finger pointed, stigmatized because his mother is the most beautiful Thalia, the island’s whore, who raises her only son amid the difficulties and obstacles society places before her because of her sinful past. She teaches her boy the art of sewing and at the same time drives into the soul of the boy two strong wants: her greed for money and thirst for revenge. These are the two motivations of the young tailor who closes himself in a stately house next to the island’s lighthouse and he envisions a scheme how to get back at the people who hurt his mother. He creates a plot beautified by his knowledge and charm. This well-crafted novel by distinguished Greek author Joanna Frangia takes the reader to a mythical locale and to a voyage of suspense and intrigue parallel to that of most famous books.
“It was a Dream”
First was the heat, then the damn dream that found him this dawn talking to himself; sweaty he walked down the stairs looking around, his nose like a hound, as if some bad omen lurked in the corners of the room. He rushed to the garden. Soon it’ll be daylight soon! He thought, taking courage in the doubtful projection. The lights shone at the far end of the sea on the opposite shore. Everything was undisturbed, the island, the lighthouse with its signals, the little moon, the far away songs of the drunks. He threw himself on a chair and recalled the dream that filled him with agony.
He was a tailor – in fact he is a tailor, a very talented one. Though it was like a dream where he worked, a shadow approached and froze him to death. An old man in rags, with a toothless smile looked at him: “sew me something, young man, I’m about to travel!” Hairs floated over his shiny head. He took out of his coat something rectangular and showed it to the tailor. It was a bar of gold. “Young man, I have no time to spare, I’m about to travel” he yelled in his ear.
“The way you look, the only place left for you is the other world.”
“That’s what I mean”, the old man agreed.
“Damn you, you want me to sew you a shroud?” The tailor was startled.
The horrible image took a step and sat opposite him: “a long shroud with deep pockets to put in them all my treasures! I’ve lived a miserable life. I have turned all I amassed into this: gold! This life is too short” he stretched his bony finger showing upward, “the other is more important. I want to take it all with me and I want you to sew me a shroud with deep pockets.” He widened his soulless eyes. “Hurry, otherwise I’ll take you with me…”
The tailor felt a chill and his chest got heavy. He wanted to cry out but his voice wasn’t there. With eyes glued to the out of this world eyes of the old man he managed to at last wake up in the condition we found him earlier.
about the author
Ioanna Frangia was born in Peireus and lives in Athens. She worked as a tourist guide and also as a clinical psychologist. Because of her first career she travelled all over Greece and studied in depth the historical path of ancient Greek civilization from the prehistoric times to today. She studied psychology in Grenoble, France and worked for the National Energy Company specializing in seminars for the human relations department and professional guidance of the personnel. She also worked in the Psychiatry Department of the same company where she dealt with pertaining issues. The last years of her professional life she worked in the family run bookstore when she started writing her first novel “Idolaters” which was published by the Kastaniotis Publishing Company in its Greek version with the title “Poseidon’s Tailor” in 2009; soon after she wrote the book “2012-The End of the Insult”. Her other interests include painting, photography and theater. She has written a drama with the title “The Border.” The “Idolaters” is her first book outside Greece.
about the translator
Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet and author who has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry. His articles, poems and short stories in both Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, and Greece. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, Swedish, German, Hungarian languages and has been published in book form or in magazines in various countries. His translation book George Seferis-Collected Poems was shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards, the highest literary recognition of Greece.
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