Tag Archives: civil war

Feeding the Doves


Feeding the Doves
31 Short and Very Short Stories, and Haibun

Greece has been in the headlines for a very long time. Since ancient times, her  philosophers, historians, mathematicians, shipbuilders, traders, and artisans have been making the news – and, indeed, history. So, amidst the country’s most difficult  years in recent times, many people believe that they know Greece and the Greeks.

Against this backdrop, the stories – short and very short – collected in “Feeding the  Doves” explore recurrent elements of the Greek psyche, tracing them back to challenges posed by the country’s history and environment. The widow, the old loner,  the refugee, the immigrant, the writer, the expatriate tell us their stories, touching  upon themes at the heart of Greek being, as well as our common humanity: love and l  loss, war, civil war, immigration and diaspora, emigration, poverty, religion, history,  and above all, the will to survive.


Cover Design:
Rob Ward, Freelance Animator

Fruit Dove Press
Email: admin@fruitdovepress.com
[The title story “Feeding the Doves” and the cover image were inspired by a photo taken by Robert Geiss, titled “Feeding Doves” and posted on his (sadly, no longer active) blog “Daily Athens Photo.”]

Who are the real Greeks? in The Guardian

Reading Room Blog

Reading Room Blog

To suggest something for my Reading Room Blog, please email me and I will try my best to follow it up. Otherwise, pick an entry, sit back, and read!

Matina Stevis, in The Guardian, asks: Who are the real Greeks? Sparking a thought provoking debate, she discusses the proposed legislation offering citizenship to the children of immigrants:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/20/greece-citizenship-immigrants-debate

I copy below my comment on Matina’s article from the Guardian website:

20 Jan 2010, 9:14PM

Greece is not an island. Unlike the UK, it is a country at the crossroads of the East with the West, at the intersection of three continents. It has a long history of wars of occupation and independence; of expansion, contraction, populations mixing, fleeing, persecution and exchange. In such an environment, the question ‘Who are the real Greeks?’ becomes either irrelevant or plays into the hands of those who try to manipulate history and race.

History helps us understand, though by no means justify or excuse, the state of a country and its people. Today, history is alive in Greece, and knowledge of the country’s past – the four hundred year Ottoman occupation, the Balkan wars, two World Wars, the war with Turkey and the resulting ‘Catastrophe’ of 1922, the treaty of Lausanne, the Civil War, the Junta –  helps us trace the roots of the divisions in modern Greek society. Unfortunately, large chunks of this history are kept in different places because they are being disputed, not accepted as true by the still warring parties in this country, as well as Greece’s neighbours. A quick read through the responses to this blog will illustrate the diversity of histories, ethnic woes and, really, the whole problem.

The Greek fault line may nowadays be seen in the reactions of some Greeks to foreign workers; in a feature shown on Greek TV some time ago, one could see footage of Greek migrants to America in the early twentieth century and the negative reactions to them by Americans that paralleled Greeks’ reactions to Albanian immigrants. The schism is also expressed in Greece’s policies towards some neighbouring countries  and now in the opposition of Greeks, thankfully not a majority, to the legislative proposal to allow citizenship to children born to immigrants.

Let us hope that those interested in Greece will feel encouraged by Matina’s article to trace the threads of this regrettable reaction to Greece’s history and the countless conflicts and migrations that made it a country and constructed its identity, and its fears of losing its recognizable format. At the same time, let us applaud the Greeks who, by proposing and supporting this progressive law, demonstrate their affinity with ideas of shared humanity and acceptance of the other.


Novel Alexandrias 40: In the Shade of the Lemon Tree

to be published in 2010 by Vox Humana Books http://www.voxhumana-books.com

“In these tales of love, loss, and survival, Pierides embroiders a tableau detailing the lives of a refugee family in Athens, circa 1957. The novel is set in the house of the family on Alexandrias Street, where they came to settle years after their flight from Smyrni, now Izmir, Turkey. Framed by this house — a concoction of tin, cement, wood and mud, a paradise, a refuge and a prison to those who nestle in it — they struggle to come to terms with their predicament, attempting to establish themselves in Greece. Without idealising its characters, the novel unfolds — a tragicomic story, full of ethnic colour, warm sensuality and psychological insight. The book encompasses the “Catastrophe” of Asia Minor, the Greek Civil War, accusations and blackmail, adoption and betrayal, as well as the refugees’ love and bitterness towards their country. The characters’ traumatic past and struggle for survival, in a country that is both home and hostile to them, requires their ability to tap into psychological resources of generosity, masochism, denial and ruthlessness — and above all — humour and forgiveness. In a quick-paced narrative straddling both the genres of novel and short story, Stella Pierides recreates a world within a world, miles apart from the well-trodden tourist trail to Greece.”

“…Vox Humana Books…eclectic literature with a human voice”

Soul Song, in Poetry Monthly International, issue 15, January 2010 (p. 18). [Poem] http://www.poetrymonthly.com/15 PMI January 2010.pdf

The Refugee, Winter Picture, and Mystery Train, to appear in  Vox Humana Literary, Spring Issue, 2010. [3 Poems] http://www.voxhumana-lit.com

Girl, in the print Journal  Off the Coast, International/Translation Issue, Spring 2009. [Poem]

Song of the Aegean, in Poetry Monthly, issue 150, 2008. [Poem]