The Book You Have to Read: ''Little Infamies''
Monique Truong, who won the Young Lions Fiction Award for her 2003 novel, ''The Book of Salt,'' recommends Panos Karnezis' Little Infamies.
What's the opposite of fate? In ''A Funeral of Stones,'' the opening story in Panos Karnezis' debut collection, he offers such an elegant, sly one-word response that it took my breath away. Karnezis, a Greek who writes in English, sets all 19 stories in an unnamed Greek village. Its handful of inhabitants saunter in and out of his narratives, bringing with them secrets, loves, betrayals, and the everyday infamies that occupy us so that we can better ignore the larger, often unanswerable questions that loom over our existence. Karnezis' writing throughout is spare but never sterile, and blessed with a wry humor that riffles through his words like a well-timed sea breeze.