ITHACA Online
Imaret: In the Shadow of the Clock Tower
 Yiannis Kalpouzos

568pp.
Metaichmio, 2009
ISBN: 978-960-455-773-8

The bonds of destiny unite a Greek and a Turk who were born on the same night in 1854 in Arta. Set just a few years after the 1821 struggle for independence and the proclamation of Greece as an independent state, the story takes place in an area that is still part of the Ottoman Empire.
Leontos and Necip struggle to survive as political and military instability threaten to erupt into conflict and war. The story begins with an unexplained murder. Imaret: In the Shadow of the Clock Tower moves easily between the historical background and a colorful mosaic of everyday life, where Greeks, Turkish and Jewish culture and tradition meet. Shadow-puppet characters cross paths with carnival masks in voluptuous bath-houses and in cafes where men in fezzes smoke narghiles. Surprises and reversals feed the momentum of a novel that also deals in depth with its characters’ desires and fears.


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