Zotos and Hawai, with their tumultuous relationship; an enigmatic boatsman; a mysterious woman looking for a room one night and a man for a lifetime; satanic charlatan doctor Margazis and fortune-hunter father Leras, who boasts about taking removing sins from women as well as their underwear, all get caught up in a crazy dance which rises and then explodes in the face of a murder, a suicide, the fear of vengeance, the indignation of society, wealth, poverty, jealousy, lust, unspeakable crives, national identity and the devil or angel that we hide within us. And their lives go on at times like a roaring river and at other like pleasure of spring. Protagonists and side characters appear side by side during the years of the Italian occupation of Ioannina in 1917, the first attempts at the creation of a Vlach principality in Pindos, the mining of petrol in Dragopsa, the Asia Minor campaign, the expulsion of the Greeks of Asia Minor and the Pontus, but also of the Turks from Ioannina, the discord between those supporting Eleftherios Venizelos and those not, and the thievery and bandits of Epirus. At the same time, they also follow in the footsteps of the Jews, the Vlachs, the Albanians and the Sarakatsani, and even more generally, the turbulent times prior to 1922 and during the first decade of the Midwar years. In one homeland, different worlds, groups and individuals coexist or clash, dreams come together or separate and blood, religion and languages are joined and combined – and all this in the city of Ioannina, a city of legend and mysterious charm.
By Yiannis Kalpouzos. 576 pages. Paperback. Imported. Psichogios publications.