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“The Pencil Factory” is a novel of ideas that covers eighty years of European history, beginning in Cairo in the 1860s and ending in Athens on the eve of World War II. Stefanos Assimakis is an engineer at Suez and his son Markos goes to Djibouti to work for the railway. But before this, in Zurich, he meets the revolutionary Nicos Vangalis who smokes sixty cigarettes a day and drinks sixty cups of black coffee. “The Pencil Factory” is the story of this great friendship, as well as the story of a girl, named Luselle, who loved parties and Paris nights; and of another girl who hanged herself on a tree; it is also the chronicle of social dreamers in turbulent times, a novel about being madly in love and about being mad, about bloody crimes and a bloodless one that happened in a Congo villa in the early 1930s. “The Pencil Factory” is a novel about the people who travelled to the depths of Africa, who met Lenin in Geneva, Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin, Trotsky in Saint Petersburg. And who, in spite of betrayal, illness and loss, led wonderful lives.
Soti Triantafyllou was born in Athens, Greece, in 1957. She got a Ph.D. on American History and Civilization from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and NYU in New York. She has published three collections of short stories, two books on film, ten novels, Saturday Night on the Edge of the Town 1996 (new edition: Patakis Publishers, 2008), Tomorrow, Another Country 1997 (new edition: Patakis Publishers, 2009), The Subterranean Sky 1998 (published in German by Zsolnay, new edition: Patakis Publishers, 2009), The Pencil Factory 2000 (German, French, Catalan & Turkish rights sold), Poor Margo 2001 (originally written in English), Century 2003, Chinese Boxes 2006 (German & Italian rights sold), Some of your blood 2008, For the love of geometry 2011 & Rare Earths 2013, the novellas The Flight (Melani, 2004) & Forgiveness 2005, a memoir Time again 2009, a philosophy book for YA Talking to Alice about Philosophy & the Meaning of Life 2012, a children’s book, Marion on the Silver Islands and in the Red Forests 1999, and a young adults book, African Diary 2008. More than 10.000 copies sold to date.
German (Zsolnay, 2004), French (Alteredit, 2005), Hebrew, Turkish and Catalan