• DIMITRA KOLLIAKOU// "the face of the sky" (a novel)

    • The face of the sky (a novel)

      Dimitra Kolliakou, «Το πρόσωπο του ουρανού» “The face of the sky” (2013, Patakis Publications)

      Victimized by the recently installed managerial regime in a university in the North of England, Sam, a lecturer, is made redundant. He abandons everything in order to write a dystopian novel about the new order that so effortlessly disposed of him. Believing he has accepted a job as a school teacher abroad, his Greek wife Nefeli (the name means “cloud” in Greek) moves to a smaller house together with their ten-year-old son, a silent boy who appears not to challenge his parents’ lie that their life will soon get back to what it used to be. While mother and child are slowly drifting apart, they encounter their new neighbour, an aged woman claiming to be a “cloud collector” capable of deciphering the “face of the sky”. This is how Nefeli comes across a manuscript left by the neighbour’s late father: his memoirs from the surrender of Crete in spring 1941, when the evacuation of the British troops was halted and he, like thousands of others, was abandoned as a prisoner of war. How will this personal testimony get entangled with the dystopian novel that ultimately Sam brings to completion? What role will play the couple’s failing marriage and Nefeli’s own involvement with crisis-ridden Greece? In a palimpsest encompassing the family’s story, the British soldier’s story and the dystopian story written by Sam, we follow how each character’s narrative is transformed when innocence and truth finally converge.

      Dimitra Kolliakou’s page at the Hellenic Author’s Society