The Scorpion and Other Stories

by Lili Bita
translated by Robert Zaller

Here we present the fiction of one of Greece’s preeminent contemporary writers. Bita’s first collection of short fiction, published when she was still in her teens, was hailed by Nikos Kazantzakis for its “power and compassion.” Anais Nin, in her preface to Bita’s verse collection Furies, wrote: “Lili Bita transcends the individual woman. Her experiences, love or hatred, birth or death, ecstasy or despair, become universal . . . Her words are strong, body and soul in balance. Her vision is direct, unifying and complete.”

The Scorpion and Other Stories is set for the most part during World War II and the civil war between an Allied-backed government and a Communist insurgency that followed. This was the most traumatic decade of modern Greek history, a period which, like the 1960s in America, is still being assimilated in Greek culture and society. These stories are not, however, about the politics of the period, but about its impact on ordinary people. They are about the lives those people continued to lead—concerned with family, marriage, and the private blood feuds that mirrored the larger struggle—in and around the devastation of war and social strife. They are also about the experience of growing up both Greek and female in a culture whose oppressiveness was only compounded by political events. Bita emerges in this collection as an important feminist voice of our times. The stories she tells of women whose only choices are submission, madness, or violence resonate for cultures far removed from Greece and circumstances that still prevail today.

ISBN 0-918618-69-X    208 pp    $15.00    Qty: