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The stories in Germanacos’ debut collection are heavily informed by her life in Greece. Several of her characters’ names - such as Artemis, Hera, Odysseus, and Penelope - will be familiar to fans of Greek mythology. And Germanacos’ stories are often just as strange and tragic as the myths they riff on. In one story, a middle-aged woman with a checkered past falls in love with the epileptic kindergartner next-door. In another, a contemporary Oedipus, living with his mother in a house full of cats, is cured of his blindness while a neighbor woman’s head boils on a stove up the street. There’s a treatise on monsters. A Bulgarian migrant cleaning woman whose gold teeth turn silver. A herd of goats gnawing on notepads stolen from a New York City hotel. And a man called Adam who paints scenes on his partner Eve’s back while the baby they retrieved from a dump crawls toward them with a dripping diaper.
Using a spare, image-laden prose style, Germanacos’ focuses on discrete, telling moments to create fast-paced stories that pack a powerful punch. This is not your standard short story collection – it is an innovative work of literary prose as brilliant, concise, and potent as a bolt of lightning.