Feeding the Doves: 31 Short and Very Short Stories, and Haibun
by Stella Pierides
Having left Greece in her youth, the author of “Feeding the Doves” returns to the country of her birth through a collection of stories that lie at the heart of Greek identity.
About the Book:
Greece has been in the headlines for a very long time. Recently, the headlines have been gloomy and negative, the country facing some of its most difficult years. Against this background, “Feeding the Doves” explores recurrent elements of the Greek psyche, tracing them back to challenges posed by the country’s history, culture, and environment.
The widow, the old loner, the refugee, the immigrant, the young, the writer, the expatriate, tell us their stories, touching upon themes at the heart of Greek being: Love and loss, civil war, immigration and diaspora, emigration, poverty, religion, history and catastrophe, and above all, the will to survive.
“What I admire here are the shining moments of revelation, of truths large and small bursting through the lives and memories of these characters. So many characters, and so rich!”
—John Wentworth Chapin
Founding Editor, 52|250 and A Baker’s Dozen
“Stories to surprise and entertain, to wake and calm, to wrench and elate, to tell the Greek story, past and present, and everyone’s story.”
–—Michael Dylan Welch, poet, writer,
and editor/publisher of Press Here books
Patty Apostolides on Amazon.com:
“Lyrical and Concise”: “… well written and full of beautiful, touching, and sometimes haunting, melodic stories.”
“Feedings the Doves = feeding the soul”: “This is a wonderful, evocative book, rich in imagery…”
“…characters recall how that sad event shaped their own histories, but the tone is one of hopefulness, of looking to the future and making the best of situations that will always be imperfect.”
“This sparseness extends to the stories individually, which do not waste their limited word-count on scene-setting or extraneous characterisation; each one evokes a mood, makes a point, or charts a phase in an individual’s development without telling us anything more than we need to know.“
“Stunning insight into the Greek experience”
“… each story is poet gem, offering … moments of revelation and introspection”
“…references to Greece and its geography and culture, ancient and modern, pepper Pieride’s stories. It’s a wonderful setting for her flash fiction, and I found her writing a refreshing and unique collection.
“Each feels like an intimate glimpse into someone’s life, a brief moment in time. And given that each is so quick, so fast, and yet so personal, it’s saying something that Pieride is able to levy language to create this impact in such sort space.”
Neos Kosmos Review (Australia’s leading Greek community news source), by Helen Velissaris:
“These stories manage to show universal themes entwined with the Greek psyche to give a new perspective on the Greece in the media’s headlines.
Above all, these stories show Greece isn’t defined by its current bank account, but rather the people that inhabit it.”
Read the whole article here. A very interesting take on my book.
“From a symbol of the divine (“A Life-Changing Story), to an object of meditation and near-worship in Syntagma Square (as in the title story), to their possible end in a soup kitchen destined to feed hungry children (“Pigeons”), doves’ journey functions as a counterpoint to the human sacrifice and quest for nourishing truths. Several glimpses into silent, sometimes tortured lives, end in haiku. It serves to deepen the reader’s understanding, and add new dimensions to the prose. And it’s a treat, as Pierides is both an archeologist of experiences, and a mistress of haibun.
Since Yourcenar and Kazantzakis, nobody has illuminated with such wisdom and compassion the often unseen lives that make the humanity what it is: a traveling, travailing organism with feet of myth.”
Mia Avramut is a Romanian-born writer, physician, researcher, and poetry editor at Connotation Press.
About the Author:
Stella Pierides is a writer and poet born in Athens, Greece. She now divides her time between Neusaess, Germany and London, England. In her heart, she lives somewhere on the Aegean coast. She is married and has two adult daughters. Stella trained as a psychotherapist and worked at a crisis center and in private practice in London, UK for many years. More recently, Stella gained an MA in Literature, with Distinction, from the Open University, UK. For the last few years, she has been focusing on writing prose and poetry.
Stella has had work published in numerous print and online journals and anthologies. She has coedited and contributed to Even Paranoids Have Enemies (Routledge, 1998) and Beyond Madness (JKP, 2002). Recent book: In the Garden of Absence (Fruit Dove Press, 2012 – poetry).
Fruit Dove Press
87 pages, 90gm cream interior paper
Full-color laminated cover
129 mm x 198 mm trim size
Price: £8.00 UK
Press Release: BriefingWire (13 August 2013)
Feeding the Doves
31 Short and Very Short Stories, and Haibun
Greece has been in the headlines for a very long time. Since ancient times, her philosophers, historians, mathematicians, shipbuilders, traders, and artisans have been making the news – and, indeed, history. So, amidst the country’s most difficult years in recent times, many people believe that they know Greece and the Greeks.
Against this backdrop, the stories – short and very short – collected in “Feeding the Doves” explore recurrent elements of the Greek psyche, tracing them back to challenges posed by the country’s history and environment. The widow, the old loner, the refugee, the immigrant, the writer, the expatriate tell us their stories, touching upon themes at the heart of Greek being, as well as our common humanity: love and loss, war, civil war, immigration and diaspora, emigration, poverty, religion, history, and above all, the will to survive.
Rob Ward, Freelance Animator
Fruit Dove Press
[The title story “Feeding the Doves” and the cover image were inspired by a photo taken by Robert Geiss, titled “Feeding Doves” and posted on his (sadly, no longer active) blog “Daily Athens Photo.”]