Something Will Happen, You'll See

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Product Details

Archipelago Books
Publish Date
5.2 X 6.7 X 0.9 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Christos Ikonomou was born in Athens in 1970. He has published two collections of short stories, The Woman on the Rails (2003), and Something will Happen, You'll See (2010). Something Will Happen, You'll See won the prestigious Best Short-Story Collection State Award and became the most reviewed Greek book of 2011.

About the Translator:
Karen Emmerich's translations from the Greek include books by Margarita Karapanou, Amanda Michalopoulou, Ersi Sotiropoulos, and Vassilis Vassilikos. Her translation of Miltos Sachtouris for Archipelago was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, and her translation of Yannis Ritsos's Diaries of Exile with Edmund Keeley won the 2014 PEN Literary Award. She has received translation grants and awards from PEN, the NEH, and the Modern Greek Studies Association. She teaches at the University of Oregon.


"In Ikonomou's timely novel, the human fallout of the Greek economic recession is writ large. . . . Concerned with the bottom rungs of the social ladder, [these] pieces . . . cover an astonishing range. . . . These stories add up to a panorama of the human spirit under siege and a searing indictment of the failures to reform the Greek infrastructure." -- Publishers Weekly

"[Ikonomou's] characters might feel like they are suffering private tragedies, but SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN repeatedly calls our attention to the subtle human connections that remain. . . . Karen Emmerich deserves special praise for her translation of Ikonomou's charming, vernacular, and energetic prose." -- Bookforum

"This collection is a kind of Dubliners for the postcrisis generation and a lament for the marginalized inhabitants of neighborhoods around the shipping district of Piraeus. Ikonomou succeeds at immersing the reader, through a panoramic stream-of-consciousness method of narration, into fifteen lives where "pain and fear come later, when the wound cools[...]" Ikonomou is an author of substance as much as style, and Something Will Happen, You'll See is a stunning, if somewhat bleak, sketch of a country in flux." -- World Literature Today

"Ikonomou's Something Will Happen, You'll See depicts many lives, of all ages, that have been blighted by financial hardship. The book stands with Rafael Chirbes's On the Edge as one of the remarkable literary interpretations of the recent global downturn." -- Barnes & Noble Review

"Stylistically and thematically reminiscent of Raymond Carver. . . Set in contemporary Greece, these stories focus on characters struggling to maintain their dignity, relationships and self-worth in a failing society." -- Shelf Awareness

"These stories are pitch-perfect, with sullen anger, wit, sharp humor, and tragicomedy captured in sharply crafted scenes that linger in the memory... Karen Emmerich is quickly establishing herself as one of our finest contemporary translators from Greek to English... If someone is interested in understanding the very human face of Greece's working class, and discovering a very talented and unsettling writer, I'd say buy this book." -- Stephanos Papadopoulos in Los Angeles Review of Books

"Something Will Happen, You'll See presents a vision that deftly combines economic and existential crisis, showing how the two are never far apart... Ikonomou's writing brilliantly and sensitively conveys hope, fear, and everything in between. He realizes that the mind plays games when faced with something it can't bear to see. Ikonomou forces it, and us, to look. These stories give back to the world what is lost in the TV rendition of a country's suffering. These fictions are the news, writ atomically, or cellularly, character by character, progressing one gesture and emotional tick at a time. The loss of the individuals behind any news story is a crime. Ikonomou undoes the crime by bodying forth the tragedy."-- Anne Germanacos in Los Angeles Review of Books

"In sixteen inter-connected short stories, Christos Ikonomou gives us a mural of the lives of people struggling in the working-class neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Athens, the fishing docks and boatyards near the port... Karen Emmerich's outstanding translation makes sure not only that the lyrical and the rough both survive in the English version, but that the austere and the jumbled, elements which form the Modern Greek language, are both present - this is one of those rare renditions where nothing is lost." -- The Times Literary Supplement

"This poignant collection of short stories masterfully explores the soul of the Greek people amidst economic crisis. The stories are unique and raw and delve deep into the emotional landscape of unemployment, hunger and despair but include fragments of dark humor and attempts at preserving dignity. From a laid off worker who cannot provide food for his son to a woman whose boyfriend steals her nest egg to a group of sick old men awaiting the opening of a clinic, we are privy to the innermost thoughts and mundane acts of everyday people who are grappling with difficult circumstances beyond their control. Ikonomou's brilliant imagery and insightful writing is simply beautiful to read and ponder." -- Wellesley Books newsletter

"[Ikonomou's stories] are heart-wrenching and moving yet devoid of any sentimentality. They are deeply illuminating, not only about working-class Greeks in the face of the crisis, but, more importantly, about the human condition." -Publishing Perspectives

"A gripping collection of short stories... Christos Ikonomou has already been hailed in the Italian press as a 'Greek Faulkner, ' a description that conveys the emotional power but not the restraint or precision of his prose." -Mark Mazower, The Nation

"The Greek Faulkner... one of the most touching chronicles of the economic crisis to have come out of Greece." -La Repubblica

"Ikonomou redefines the value and the archetypal importance of the Greek epic ... in a few words he depicts the difficulty of living in the here and now." -Panorama

"There's no arrogance in this book. This sensitive chronicler allows the reader to feel his characters' existential anxiety from the very first line." -Spiegel Online

"The Decameron of the crisis." -Left Magazine

"Ikonomou enters the homes of popular neighborhoods of Piraeus - Nikea, Koridallos, Kokkinia - and gazes people hoping to find a trace, to locate a clue which allows him to dispel the economic tsunami or to appease the protests. It's an intimate eye he has: he sees faces, events and thoughts from behind the glass of a window, hidden by a corner. Sincere and unmerciful." - ANSA News Agency

"Christos Ikonomou gives the crisis a face, many faces." - Neue Zรผrcher Zeitung

"In 16 intense, touching snapshots he senses the atmosphere in the country and the pain of each individual." -Zuhause Wohnen

"The 43-year-old author of Piraeus writes without frills and laconically about the lives of the so-called little people around him." -Simon Hadler/Alexander Musik

"Finally, there's a book that drags the Greek reader out of the satiate petty bourgeois frame or the lifestyle craze and throws him deep into the working class slums." -Ta Nea Newspaper

"Spectacular, bright fiction delivered from an author who has already accomplished much--and promises a lot more." -Kathimerini Newspaper

"[Ikonomou] has brought to the surface the struggles and unfulfilled dreams of Piraeus' working classes, highlighting their beauty and the dignity. One of the most powerful books of the year: a novel that's been widely read and admired." -Eleftherotypia Newspaper

"Ikonomou's gaze never becomes melodramatic or pitiful; nor does it fall into the ease of depicting the extreme. There are absolutely no clichรฉs and the usual stereotypes that accompany the depiction of the poor in literature... with this short-story collection (Ikonomou) rewrites the almost forgotten urban social realism into the fabric of Greece's contemporary literature...(the author) enters contemporary Greek literature very dynamically." -Nea Hestia Literary Magazine

"[Ikonomou's] dialogue sparkles with authenticity whereas his narrative bridges a simple and often rough language with moments of pure lyricism giving out a spark that fuels emotion." -Conteiner Magazine