Natasa Kesmeti’s lively short stories in Isle of Pumice tell of escapes. They are escapes to places exotic and unknown, but also to the inner world of human existence, where reality may find another dimension. They reveal both the drawbacks and the charm of solitude, which enables one to make crucial decisions and find the courage to confront success or failure head on.
The protagonists’ love of life and their fear of it emerge in tales where the narrative voice is warm, familiar, low key, and the style elegant.
Drawing on everyday Greek life for her themes, Kesmeti never embellishes or idealises, yet she has a way of conferring a poetic aura on situations both ordinary and unusual. Her brief tales are infused with a sense of understanding and sympathy for their heroes, their trials and joys, their need to find some vital purpose in the course of their lives.
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