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"«Autobiography of a Book» is a brilliant reconstruction (or perhaps deconstruction) of the life and history of the town of Komotini... This remarkable novel succeeds where many historical works do not in setting the Jewish experience in Northern Greece in a broader and vividly imagined social and ethnic content..." Mark Mazower "Fais' Autobiography of a Book reminds us that in the course of a few weeks in 1943 Germans led the Jewish population in Thrace en masse to its destruction, while Muslim women clattered tin and copper ustensils to fend off the Bulgarian occupation..." Artemis Leondis, Prof. of Modern Greek Literature, University of Michigan "..a clear and sombre introspection reminiscent of Thomas Bernhard's prose.." Marie-Stephane Devaud, Newspaper Tageblatt, 20-6-1997 "...set in Komotini in Thrace, a region characterized historically by its heterogeneity and fought over in the 20th century by the Ottoman Empire, Greece and Bulgaria...the novel juxtaposes purported testimonies with newspaper articles and contains alternative versions of events from which the reader may choose, thereby undermining the absolute divisions of testimony and fiction and giving rise to perspectival shifts..." Robert Shannan Peckham, Scholar of Modern Greek Studies, London Magazine, 4-5/1991
Michel Fais was born in Komotini, Thrace in 1957. He studied Economics at the University of Athens. His novel «The Autobiography of a Book» (1994) was translated into French (Hatier, 1996) and Romanian (Omonia, 2007). His collection of short stories «From the Same Glass and Other Stories» (1999) received the State Short Story Award in 2000. His story «Aegypius Monachus» (2001) completed an informal trilogy. His short stories have been translated, for magazines and anthologies, into English, German, Czech and Bulgarian. In 1996 he published «The Retrospective Gaze» (Patakis), where 44 writers and artists commented on photographs of tombs. He collaborated with Theo Angelopoulos on the screenplay of his latest film trilogy. His work on the painter Giulio Caimi is contained in «Greek Landscapes» (1993), «Giulio Caimi, a Man Suppressed. Recollections and Criticism. Selected Articles (1928-1976). Paintings» (1994), «Santaga or the Six Rules of Painting», «Rodakis’ House on Aegina», «The Ill-fated Marriage» (1997). He is also the central character of his novel «The Honey and Ashes of God» (Patakis, 2002). His latest novel, Purple Laughter, was published by Patakis in October 2010.
Romanian (Editura Omonia)