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Mother Tongue


Paperback / softback

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Mother Tongue by Vassilis Alexakis
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This book chronicles the quest of a man named Pavlos as he is attempting to solve the mystery of the Delphic Epsilon while also coming to terms with his mother's recent death. After twenty years living and working in Paris as a newspaper cartoonist, Pavlos returns to his native Greece with no job and no clear plans for the future, beyond occasionally checking in on his widowed father. The novel traces his Quixotic adventures--from his mission to collect words that start with the Greek letter E to his unsuccessful attempts to find his place within Greek intellectual and artistic circles--with the author's characteristic humor and sharp observational eye. At its heart this is a story of living in-between: between languages, between the past and the present, between life and death.

Author Biography

Vassilis Alexakis is the author of Avant, Foreign Words, La Langue Maternelle, and Papa, all in French, and Talgo, which he wrote in Greek and later translated into French. He has also produced four films and a collection of drawings. He lives in Paris. Harlan R. Patton is a French-to-English translator. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
Release date NZ
February 15th, 2017
Translated by Harlan R Patton
Autumn Hill Books
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