Data from the Decade of the Sixties: A Novel
Northwestern University Press, 2000 - Fiction - 307 pages
Thanassis Valtinos juxtaposes character voices, stories, and news clips to highlight the clash of the past and the present in Greece during a period of unprecedented cultural transformation. In the 1960s, the Greek monarchy gave way to a republic (via dictatorship); an agricultural society became industrialized; and, no less significant, marriages - formerly arranged - could be based on love.
The many voices in this impressive chronicle coalesce in a series of fictional documents, ranging from personal correspondence between friends and family members to news reports and advertisements. The reader is privy to letters written by lovelorn youths begging for guidance from a radio advice guru and to emigration applications of uneducated and underprivileged Greeks. As governments fall, sexologists, fortune-tellers, garage owners, and lonely matrons advertise their specialties and needs in want ads, while the young and resigned cling to the cheap novels, movies, and gossip columns that are the foundation of their barren existence.
Together these fictional testimonies reveal the tumult of 1960s Greece, where generations and values collided as society struggled to adapt. Valtinos examines the pulse of a decade, portraying the spirit of the century in Greece and throughout the world.
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