…It was an almost ordinary day. We gathered in the common room and discussed the spelling of the words cappuccino and espresso. According to a nice little old man in a checkered shirt and striped pants, I forgot his name, the spelling was "campuccino" because it originated from Campuccio, and "expresso" because it was brewed fast and they served it on express trains in the past. He was very convincing and it took them some time to change his mind. Then we passed a ball to each other and we had to be truthful. The five of us were very careful not to be.

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:15
Matthew Kneale.jpg


London-born Rome-residing Matthew Kneale has been a household name in literary circles since the success of his novel English Passengers, 2000. A story about a religious-scientific expedition that seeks The Garden of Eden in Tasmania, it is set against the background of the brutal destruction of the New World by British settlers and convicts.

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 17:41

ANNABEL, An excerpt

It is a kind of painting that rather changes in character, and takes on a richness the longer you look at it. Besides, you know, Gauguin likes them extraordinarily. He said to me among other things – "'s...the flower."
Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to Theo Van Gogh

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 13:28


She felt fresh. She even felt confident. She'd had a small energy bar. It was more like a small wafer actually, covered with a thick layer of chocolate. The chocolate was hard and when she took a bite it broke into pieces, scattering on the ground. Better off. Fewer calories, still enough energy. She had a cigarette, too. Smoking after having chocolate sucks. The taste is vile. She had a piece of gum to fix the taste, forgot about it and presented herself to the commission as she was, gum in mouth.

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 11:54


This story considers itself the story of everyone. I don't know if this is true. You will be the one to decide.

I myself am certain that all stories are love stories, so I have refrained from classifying it as such.

It is simply the story of women and men who are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, loved ones and friends... or, in a nutshell, of people who are tigers and lions, oranges and lemons.

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 12:47


Naruhito works as an architect. He constructs earthquake-proof buildings. Drawing and drawing and drawing all day long. Sharpens his pencil and starts over again. When he gets home his supper usually consists of rice with vegetables. Or meat, only vegetables or only rice. In fact, he doesn't really care what he eats but what matters is when he goes to bed because Naruhito loves dreaming the most. Before he falls asleep Naruhito sticks his nose into a metal thermos labeled "Himalayan Oxygen".

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 11:59


Here it's the third week of the garbage strike and Athens has begun to smell. Bright-colored trash bags fill the curbs and alleyways, and we have learned to step over the rubbish and avoid the blocks that have become unnavigable. We know which stretches are particularly foul – a stretch along Mavili Square, or the entire top end of Monastiraki. Odos Athinas is a sea of trash, and Omonia is ghastly but we don't go there anyway. May has gone from unseasonably cool to raging hot, and the garbage is melting.

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 15:01

DREAMS, An excerpt

People still believe in the Devil and hope to see him in the whites of the convulsing epileptic's eyes. This time, though, something is not right. I don't know what, I just feel it. I get up. A plump man wearing glasses and a plaid jacket is helping me.

"Thanks," I say, "I'll be fine… It's just a regular seizure."

"No comprende," the man smiles.

A punk kid stands up and silently points at the plastic seat. His baby face is unusually kind.

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 14:54


I am one of the last ones. Everything has been wiped out. Only ignorance and oblivion remain. And green, so much green. Now that I've seen I know: the eyes of the Devil are green. I am one of the last lettered ones. And I don't have much time. I am a pagan because I worship the Lord. But a new era has come from the west. Whence the night comes. And where Evil feels at home. The conquerers came by sea. With black boats and smoking herbs. More fearsome than Muslims. Now in the churches, they dry herbs, grow mushrooms and breed bees.

Tue, 11/05/2013 - 14:26


I came downstairs in Ewan the Fatty's penthouse. No sound there. The Fatty had tiptoed out to his workshop. My ears were still ringing from my conversation with Graziella. It was as if I had been scalded by salt water, my teeth were numb and I felt hungover even though I hadn't had too much to drink. I wanted to make myself a cup of coffee and take advantage of my mate's crammed fridge, but that meant I would be late for work.

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 14:04


My husband loves old-fashioned meatloaf: two parts beef to one part pork, three eggs, a cup of breadcrumbs, a dash of half and half, and a blanket of bacon and ketchup on top.

Back home – in Pennsylvania – the recipe is called Mom's Love.

Here – in south Florida – it's so blasting hot I could fry bacon on our swimming-pool deck. Yet I still decide to make Mom's Love, because I miss home and the way its name sounds like a train that'll never stop: Lackawanna, Lackawanna, Lackawanna.

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 08:54


Right across the street lived Alicia, the fat old witch. When she had nothing else to do, she would fornicate with the Devil. Loaded with bags and old-fashioned suitcases, she had come all the way from Kazakhstan. Her real name was Alyona Kashcheevna. She knew all sorts of magic and spells, so in no time she managed to ensnare an old widower, Mr Stavros, who used to be a butcher. As soon as darkness fell and the honorable citizens settled in front of their TV sets, Mr Stavros would start clearing his throat suggestively towards Alyona: "Come on, come on!"

Tue, 07/02/2013 - 11:18

IT ALL BEGINS WITH GOOD INTENTIONS, An excerpt from the novel Fake is a State of Mind

Once upon a time… James always began his stories like that, smiling. He thought fairy tales were the best ways of telling a story and he was right. I looked at him like a little child every time he told a story. So, once upon a time, Ruben Sullivan was a legend for Interpol. Young, talented and so very clever, he had been the mastermind of pretty much every beautifully conducted art crime over the past ten years. In order to be the best, he was of course the student of the best before him. There was an old saying that when the student is ready, the master will appear. And he did.

Sun, 06/09/2013 - 12:18