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A beautiful novel that illuminates the fraught lives of Egyptian immigrants with a witty soulful sympathy. Plasatis conjures up a harsh radiant world in which many are adrift and terra firma is not always the salvation it’s cracked up to be.
Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Welcome to Café Papaya, Kavala, Greece, where Angie draws, Pavlo works nights, and Egyptian fishermen come to smoke and weave their hallucinogenic tales of disaffection and longing. Your host is Alexandros Plasatis, that magician of words, idiomatic and as instantly recognizable as Ernest Hemingway or Roddy Doyle. 'As if the land wanted to become sea,' he writes in 'Two Arms.' And his stories are like that—murky plots and disheveled conversations unraveling the layers between fact and fiction, dream and reality. Sure, these are immigrant stories—but in Plasatis’s world, everyone’s a foreign country.
Joel Van Valin, author of The Grand Dissolute and editor of Whistling Shade magazine
Made by Sea and Wood, in Darkness is daring, strange and highly original. Inhabiting and exploring the shadowy margins of an immigrant fishing community, it is sometimes brutal, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant—sometimes all of these things and more. This is a beautiful and disturbing novel in stories which deserves a wide readership.
Jonathan Taylor, author of Entertaining Strangers and Melissa
Made by Sea and Wood, in Darkness is a collage of many lives and many voices, based around an all-night café in a Greek port. Funny and subversive, sometimes heartbreaking, this is writing from the edge that pushes at the boundaries of contemporary fiction.
Ailsa Cox, author of Writing Short Stories
The reader of the linked stories that comprise Made by Sea and Wood, in Darkness is transported to the all-night Café Papaya in the Greek seaport of Kavala, a scruffy hangout for weathered Egyptian fishermen and ragged locals. Servers at the café, Pavlo and Angie feel alienated from this brutish world of raunchy, wretched men. Evoking that world, Alexandros Plasatis, who was born in Greece but lives in England, is in full command of his adopted English. Like one of his misplaced Egyptians, Plasatis makes his words 'sound like breaking crackers.'
Steven G. Kellman, author of The Translingual Imagination and Redemption
In this startling collection, a novel in stories, Alexandros Plasatis explores the lives, loves and tales of Egyptian fishermen in Greece. Funny, filthy, unsettling, and often unexpectedly moving, these tales from the margins are beautifully crafted, and mark the arrival of a distinctive new voice in fiction.
Will Buckingham, author of The Descent of the Lyre
Made by Sea and Wood, In Darkness scours the societal sea-floor for those stories that are unseen, unsung. Narratives ooze out-- fluid rush. Lines pour forth poetically-- dreamy, gritty images catch the reader, plunging subconscious. Sink in. This record, of those living in underbelly, seeking eternal Yes, needs to be brought in now.