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Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Ada Public Library BRO (Text) 33500012480752 Main Available -
Moorhead Public Library BRO (Text) 33500012480760 Main Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 0399583416
  • ISBN: 9780399583414
  • ISBN: 0399583408
  • ISBN: 9780399583407
  • Physical Description: 341 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, New York : Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 337-339).
Summary, etc.: Aliki is one of the last of her kind, a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. She is a part of an evolving Greece, a country moving steadily away from its rural traditions. To capture the fading folk art of lamenting, an American researcher asks Aliki to record her laments, but in response, Aliki sings her own story. It begins in a village in northeast Greece, where Aliki witnesses the occupying Nazi soldiers execute her father for stealing a squash. Taken in by her friend Takis's mother, Aliki is joined by a Jewish refugee and her son, Stelios. When the village is torched and its people massacred, Aliki, Takis and Stelios are able to excape just as the war is ending. Fleeing across the chaotic landscape of a postwar Greece, the three become a makeshift family. They're bound by friendship and grief, but torn apart by betrayal, madness and heartbreak. Through Aliki's powerful voice, an unforgettable one that blends light and dark with wry humor, this book delivers a fitting eulogy to a way of life and provides a vivid portrait of a timeless Greek woman whose story of love and loss is eternal.--

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2017 March #1
    Aliki, a teenager in a northeastern Greek village in the 1940s, has an innate talent for singing dirge-poems honoring the deceased. After her father is executed by German soldiers, she's taken in by Chrysoula, a neighbor woman with a son, Takis, who may be mentally ill. Aliki grows close to Stelios, the young Greek Jewish man Chrysoula hides in her basement with his mother, and their bond makes Takis jealous. Then their household is betrayed, and violence erupts, forcing the trio into political chaos as civil war tears the country apart and Communist guerrillas roam the streets. Because their characterizations are rather flat, Aliki and Stelios' love story doesn't attain the emotional heights it reaches for; the book's gripping final chapters, however, have undeniable power. Aliki's dry humor is entertaining as she records her life story on cassette for a modern American ethnographer. Full of details on folk traditions, like shadow-puppet theater and ritual laments, Brown's novel should entice readers curious about Greek history and culture and WWII enthusiasts seeking a new angle on the era. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

James William Brown, author of the critically acclaimed Blood Dance, is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford and has also been a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. The recipient of two fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, he has also directed the editorial departments of textbook publishers in New York, Boston, and Athens, Greece. Previously he lived and taught in Greece for ten years.

Subject: Mourning customs Greece Fiction
Refugees Greece Fiction
Shadow shows Fiction
World War, 1939-1945 Greece Fiction
Genre: Historical fiction.
Historical fiction.

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