Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Koula by Menis Koumandareas

This is an elegant novella by one of the premier authors of Greece. This is the authors first book to be translated into English and so I am unfamiliar with his other work but based on this he deserves his current status. As a young man and an older woman commuting each day they are deeply drawn to each other and enter into an affair. There is nothing remarkable about the story except for the way it is presented. The author doesn't reduce it to a seedy affair (which is essentially what it is) but instead explores how the heart can mysteriously connect with a completely unsuitable person, completely overriding common sense and destroying the self-protective devices that all humans put into place. At the end of the affair, nothing and yet everything has changed for the two people involved.

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