Something Will Happen, You’ll See

Publication Date:

January 2010



Original language and publisher

Greek | Polis Editions

Territories Handled


Territories Sold

World English (Archipelago)
Germany (C.H. Beck)
Italy (Elliot Edizioni)
Spanish (Spain) (Valparaiso)
France (Quidam)
Croatia (VBZ)


Literary Fiction, Short Stories

Something Will Happen, You’ll See


His language is by turns direct and lyrical, with a tactile, physical sense of setting and character. It is remarkable, in every sense of the word. — The Chowdhury Prize 2022 Committee

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 gives us access into the urban, human predicament … 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. — Times Literary Supplement

An unbelievable whoosh of impassioned, yet spare, writing about the economic troubles in Greece—told through short stories—that could be about the capitalistic struggle of the free market anywhere. — Lit Hub

..a poignant collection of short stories that explore the soul of Greece … Raw and touching. — The Culture Trip

In much the way John Steinbeck laid open the migrant worker culture of mid-century California, Ikonomou exposes us to the realities of Greek poverty, the bitter taste of politics, and the generational divide. These stories are pitch-perfect, with sullen anger, wit, sharp humor, and tragicomedy captured in sharply crafted scenes that linger in the memory. Los Angeles Review of Books

Ikonomou makes you look where you would rather not — at the dispirited and desperate, the poor and the mentally unstable, the lonely and the forgotten — but through the power of his writing, you cannot look away. There is a moral imperative to these stories that extends beyond the headlines of the financial crisis and makes its pain palpable. One does not need to know all the facts and figures to feel the effects. Washington Independent Review of Books

Something Will Happen is a heartbreaking and essential portrait of Greece’s modern despair, and while there are hopeful moments scattered throughout, the ones that ring truest are apocalyptic. The Paris Review

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

Most rewarding of all, these are stories of the resilience of the human spirit, and they capture that elusive but crucial aspect in the human condition: hope. Asymptote Journal

Something Will Happen, You’ll See holds the pause that comes before the question, or even before our ability to articulate the question. I keep returning to the space of the taverna or ouzeria, the culture of the European coffeehouse, as a model for how we might engage with questions or speak to one another. 3:AM Magazine

Reading this book makes you read into yourself. ZYZZYVA Literary Magazine

One of the great contemporary novelists. — Lignes de vie

These haunting narratives and their conversational titles have the poignancy to sink into a reader’s memory and life. Like Jose Saramago, Ikonoumou wields a catholic willingness for allegory. The Rumpus

Intimate portrait of a nation in crisis … between enchantment and hope. Le Matricule des Anges

A strong sense of synthesis and an amazing radicalism about the subject, suggest that we are dealing with an important author. En attendant Nadeau

[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

The Greek Faulkner … one of the most touching chronicles of the economic crisis to have come out of Greece. La Republica

A gripping collection of short stories.The Nation

Something Will Happen, You’ll See is a heart-wrenching elegy on the impoverished working-class Greeks populating the neighborhoods around Piraeus, the large port southwest of Athens. Ikonomou’s luminous and poignant short stories center around laid-off steelworkers, warehousemen, families, pensioners, and young couples faced with sudden loss and turmoil. Between docks, in tenement buildings, and on city streets Ikonomou’s men and women sustain their traumas on flickers of hope in the darkness and on their deep faith in humanity. An illuminating examination of the human condition, Ikonomou’s award-winning book has become the literary emblem of the Greek economic crisis; stories so real, humane, and haunting that they will stay with the reader long after the final page.

Marketing Information

  • Full English, French, Italian, and German translations available

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