Zigzag through the Bitter-Orange Trees by Ersi Sotiropoulos (tr. Peter Green)

a nutshell: a singularly strange work of fiction, this book follows the whims & flaws of four young people during a sultry Greek summer

a line: This summer was filled with sins | And ominous thoughts | It was a vertiginous summer | The boy is mine”

an image: strolling alone by the sea, Sid feels a wave of lightheartedness on seeing three old men on a bench silently watching the bustle of boats and decides this is how he’d like to grow old – to sit in the sun, breathe good air, and let the world go by

a thought: the truth is I wasn’t enamoured with this novel (and actively disliked the four main protagonists), but it was darkly humourous that a mysterious virus plays a central role…

a fact: this was the first novel ever to win both the Greek national prize for literature and Greece’s preeminent book critics’ award

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