Synopsis of OUT OF ARCADIA: The American Odyssey of Angelo Vlahos
With his semi-literate father invalid after falling off the family donkey and his mother so afflicted by arthritis that that she can hardly sell her flower and vegetable seeds in order to feed the family, Angelo Vlahos leaves his tiny village in rock-strewn Arcadia and arrives in Chicago on a forged bank certificate of deposit. With all his possessions in a bundle, thirty dollars in his pocket, and a registration at a phony technical institute in Chicago, he forges with hope toward his two goals: to get a college education, while working, and to reunite with the love of his childhood, Antigone. But unforeseen obstacles throw him painfully off course and into a harrowing quandary. Faced with deportation and a crisis of the spirit, Angelo prays for his destitute family back home and hopes for a miracle.
Author Nicholas D. Kokonis weaves a tale of innocence and courage, faith and determination that will captivate your compassion and enthusiasm from the first page as he takes you along on Angelo’s journey in a strange new land. This stunning tale is a celebration of the common people’s struggles and triumphs and abiding faith and a paean to the indomitable Greek spirit.
Out of Arcadia is a sequel to award-winning Arcadia, My Arcadia. Kokonis’s debut novel was read worldwide and hailed by the critics as a “classic piece of work.” The book was the recipient of many awards, including a Homer Prize and Gold Medal from the International Society of Greek Writers and a coveted Special Prize from the prestigious Academy of Athens. Mary Papoutsy of the Hellenic Communication Service wrote: “Arcadia, My Arcadia stands out even among a field of shining stars…A must-read!”
CRITICAL PRAISE OF OUT OF ARCADIA
“…an incredible piece of work…A book not to be missed!”—SUE HARRISON, Author, Mother Earth Father Sky
“…a distinguished contribution to the literature of immigration.”—SHAWN ROSENHEIM, Williams College
“The Greek voice has for a long time been absent from imaginative, fictional accounts of immigration…The story of Angelo helps us to imagine all those other lives built on hope, but hope always mixed with sadness of leaving our Arcadias behind.”—Aliki Varvogli, University of Dundee, Scotland.
“Among the finest achievements of the author is that minor characters become major. Simo is simply brilliant. Dickens would have been proud to create her.”—WILLIAM GRADDY, Trinity International University
“Gently, Kokonis takes the reader by the throat and will not let go...”—MARILYN BOUTWELL, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus
“Kokonis is a powerful author whose vivid descriptions and writing style is reminiscent of the great works of many classical and modern authors, including Steinbeck…Out of Arcadia is a delightful, engrossing read, and one you shouldn't miss.”—Linda Morelli, award-winning author of Fiery Surrender and Shadow of Doubt