I’M A SUCKER FOR slim volumes about girls. I picked up Anne Germanacos’s collection of short stories, In the Time of the Girls, based on the shape and the title. What I discovered was a world out of time, a collection of fragments and stories whose narrators whisper little truths and tales across oceans, across centuries, across boundaries both fictional and cultural. If writers are hosts, Germanacos invites a large and eclectic tribe to her party. Greek gods and tattooed teenagers, forgetful husbands and secretive wives. Children who weave patterns across the page. Characters I recognize, dimly, from Greek plays and mythology, or from 8th grade Algebra class — I can’t be sure. The certainty comes from the writer’s unwavering authority. Even when being interviewed, Germanacos is clear, present, and warm. She wrote to me from her home in Crete where she teaches writing alongside her husband. San Francisco-born, she spends half of her year in Crete and half in California.
— Clarissa Romano
Monsters, like maps, are internal, but his country’s forgotten, or still hasn’t learned what’s private. He pictures himself a centaur, looks down at his hooves.
In Greek, there’s no word for privacy. The word that comes closest? Idiotis. Greek villages offer a tremendous (if sometimes brutal) version of community.
Place is everything, but, as I’ve learned, in some fundamental way, places are interchangeable. It’s our delight and delectation to know them as being different. Really, they’re all the same.
On the feast day, the Dormition, I dressed in a skirt and sandals, pulled my hair back, slipped pen and paper into a small purse. I followed the townspeople along the dusty, hot road to a chapel on the other side of the island. We were a long line of pilgrims, in August.
I don’t consider myself an expat both because I never gave up the US and because my experience in Greece was more entrenched than what I tend to think of as the typical expat experience. I learned Greek because I had to ...read more