ITHACA Online
Purple and Black Thread
 Stratis Haviaras

327pp.
Kedros, 2007
ISBN: 960-04-3563-4
ISBN13: 978-960-04-3563-4

An eleven-year-old boy on a deserted isle in the Saronic Gulf during the German occupation of Greece conjures up Byzantine heroes as a means of dealing the manifestations of war that surround him. The young hero brings to life Digenis Akritis, from the Byzantine epic of the same name, and the ninth-century hymn writer Kassiani, to encounter those who are resisting the Nazi war machine. In Purple and Black Thread, partisans confront Germans, Amazons courageously take up arms, and illicit love affairs are drawn from the heart of the Byzantine era. Together they make a utopian vision that is a kind of consolation to the boy who is trying to escape the clutches of an evil destiny. In this post-modern dream fantasy, Stratis Haviaras offers a realistic account of a redemptive myth, where elements from crime and historical novels converse with tales of chivalry and romance.


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