Good Will Come From the Sea
The first story, “I’ll Swallow Your Dreams,” from Christos Ikonomou’s Good Will Come From the Sea—a dystopian collection about Greece’s economic devastation—blew my head off with its tender and awful brutality. — Maggie Nelson, The New York Times, 2021
The impressive diversity of voices adds depth to the bleakness of these lives trapped on the brink of survival. This powerful collection will move readers with its focus on despairing people battered by forces beyond their control. — Publishers Weekly
(Ikonomou) delivers stories of the marginalized, the underdogs, weaving together a provincial cosmos from a panoply of nearly palpable voices, finally insisting in his fiction on “the indestructibility of man” … Ikonomou lets loose astounding images … They are protests against the loss of story, and reach into the primal place in our souls. — Leeore Schnairsohn, Los Angeles Review of Books
Ikonomou approaches the grimness and desperation of his characters’ lives with lightness and humor, in an idiomatic Greek seamlessly translated by Karen Emmerich. … In his prose, the lyrical and the rough are always intertwined. … Together with Something Will Happen, You’ll See, these books make a persuasive case for regarding Ikonomou as Greece’s most original and perceptive chronicler of his country’s fears and yearnings. — Fani Papageorgiou, The New York Times
The rhapsodic lyricism and dry gallows humor, the speed and nimbleness of the tonal shifts, drew me in to these books. The sympathy of Ikonomou’s characterization – the humanity he captures on the page – made me keep reading. — Francine Prose, Harper’s Magazine
In this collection, some characters are hardened by their experiences, some find courage, and some lose themselves in delusions. Each of their stories is gripping from the first to the last. — Christopher Byrd, Vulture
Christos Ikonomou’s collection Good Will Come From the Sea is a dirge for the Greek economic crisis and the devastation it has wrought, a profound meditation on the nature of justice in an unjust world. On an unnamed island, struggling migrants and trapped locals endure the crushing weight of poverty in these four linked stories.
Artemis and Stavros see their dreams destroyed when a local cartel burns down their restaurant; wheelchair-bound Chronis agonizes as a neighbor assaults a young girl. Meanwhile, Lazarus wanders the island in search of his lost son, “disappeared” at the hands of the local mob – the same gangsters who break visionary Tasos’s body and spirit for daring to stand up to them.
As the characters mourn their livelihoods, loved ones, and dreams, only ghostly threads of hope keep them marching toward a future that shows little promise of change. Good Will Come From the Sea is a tender and defiant song of loss, a study of poverty’s toll on the human soul.
- Full English, Italian, and French translations available