The Last Greek
ORIGINAL TITLE: Den siste greken
AUTHOR: Aris Fioretos
ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Norstedts förlag
Meet Yannis Georgiadis – beaming, muscular and with a Robert Mitchum dimple in his chin. One winter’s day in 1967 he steps into the surgical ward in Kristianstad, and ends up staying in Sweden. We meet him as flat-footed
son and dreamy shepherd, as worker, husband and father, but also as motorist on the E70 outside Zagreb one leaden afternoon in November. He plays croquet like a (demi-) god and knows nearly everything about water in its various forms.
Penning the portrait is the fictitious narrator Kostas Kezdoglou. Over a hundred-odd tableaux, he describes the Greek diaspora – from the fire in Smyrna in 1922 until the guest workers of the 1960s. But why write on index cards? And why a biography of his friend Yannis? The Last Greek reveals itself to be a tale of love, friendship and betrayal. As well as of Greeks, of course, who are always “good for a surprise at the last minute”…