Ioannis Gatsiounis’s debut collection of short stories brilliantly captures the spirit of the individual who struggles to define himself in a world where the idea of identity is both concrete and perpetually fleeting, a world where loyalties, friendships and family ties can alter in an instant. A young painter follows a false prophet deep into a desert. A pious rape victim struggles to see past her faith in the aftermath of a tsunami. A Chinese-American’s Chineseness is put to the test in multi-racial Malaysia. A young Malay caretaker and his lone guest at a remote guest house struggle to find direction and compassion in an era of stark civilisational divides.(Click covers up to size to read.)
With these ten beautifully imagined and decadently engrossing stories, Gatsiounis offers us a timely, penetrating meditation on intimacy, alienation and triumph in the post 9/11 world.
Ioannis' last book was, of course, Beyond the Veneer and some of you will have caught him reading from it at Readings@Seksan last year. (Susan Loone has a very good review of the book here.)
You can find his short story, Fathers, at QLRS.