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NICHOLAS D. KOKONIS' ARCADIA, MY ARCADIA
WINS LITERARY AWARD AND GOLD MEDAL
Jan. 20, '07, Chicago,IL. It is with distinct pleasure and keen patriotic pride that we announce that the novel Arcadia, My Arcadia by Chicagoan Nicholas D. Kokonis won a "FIRST HOMER AWARD and GOLD MEDAL" from the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF GREEK AUTHORS at a recent vasilopitta-cutting ceremony at the Cultural Center of Athens on January 11.
Dr. Kokonis, clinical psychologist and college professor, is an Arcadian by birth and upbringing and knows his main character down to the missing hob-nails of his only pair of shoes. Part of the world literature now, his story Arcadia, My Arcadia has been widely acclaimed. For some, it is "a hymn to the ordinary immigrant men and women who, unable to earn a living in their homeland, chased their dream and caught it abroad." For others, "it is a story that touches deeply and must enter our home like a loved one who was missing for years." For still others, "Nikos Kokonis reminds of a Greek John Steinbeck."
Arcadia, My Arcadia is currently under movie option consideration and a Greek edition is scheduled for publication in the immediate future.
St. Basil's Publishers, P.O. Box 1155, Deerfield, IL 60015
This is a wonderful historical novel about the indomitable Greek spirit of a young man from the mountains of Arcadia, the son of poor village farmers who succeeded against overwhelming odds. In the words of the author, Arcadia, My Arcadia "tells the story of one boy from the dusty poverty of his nameless village to the baffling life of the big city and beyond, as he tried to avoid the fate of his ancestors in the 1950s Arcadia." Superbly written, with an heroic central figure, the universality of the young boy's struggles-and great personal victories--will deeply touch Hellenic hearts.
Every Greek-American reader can recognize something of his own ancestors and relatives in this epic tale, since the vast majority of immigrants came from a similar background as the central figure: a poor, rural village. It makes no difference where one's ancestral village is located--nestled among the mountains of Epirus, clinging to the stony peaks of Mani, cradled in the Aegean, or even in the fabled idyllic setting of Arcadia--the struggle to survive was the same. The underlying culture, language and religion were the same. And each immigrant had the same burning desire to succeed. For those of us whose lives were made immeasurably better by the enormous sacrifices of these determined and visionary pioneers, it is difficult sometimes to recognize the magnitude and frequency of the sacrifices made by these people. But Arcadia, My Arcadia will help bring these trials into sharp focus, offering us a clearer glimpse into the remarkable natures of our own extraordinary ancestors.
Doing good on his promise, author Nicholas D. Kokonis recently presented Mr. Jim Karalekas, Former Supreme President of Pan-Arcadian Federation, with a check from the proceeds of the first edition of Arcadia, My Arcadia.
Arcadia, My Arcadia is the elegantly and dramatically told story of a poor, courageous country boy (Angelos Vlahos) who struggles to decide his own fate in the decade of the 1950s in worn-torn Arcadia. Written as a personal hymn to the ordinary men and women of the world who chased their dream and caught it abroad, this award-winning, inspirational story is particularly noted for its humanistic values, including family, education and faith in the unlimited potential of every human being. Comparing it to Richard Wright's Black Boy and Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, some critics hailed Arcadia, My Arcadia as "a masterpiece." Others said that it is "pure gold-one of its kind book!" and "the legend of all immigrants." For still others, "it must enter our home like a loved one who was missing for years." Featured in the media here as well as abroad, the book and its author have been receiving many honors and distinctions, including an recent invited interview on Comcast Newsmakers.
Conducted by Lisa Aprati, charismatic television personality and Alderwoman, the interview will air on CNN Headline News at :24 and :54 minutes past the hour, beginning Monday, April 23 and running until Sunday, April 29. Viewers should check their local cable guide for channel listing. Comcast Newsmakers is an award winning news program that features elected officials, community leaders and people making a difference across Chicagoland.
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