After ten years of living away, of coming home, of imagining and re-imagining, writing and re-writing, gathering all the feedback of so many generous readers and writers, and then writing some more, my collection of short stories Helen Klonaris' book "If I Had the Wings" is complete.
On June 6th Peepal Tree Press (Leeds, UK) releases her book, and on June 8th the author will be launching it at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. There will be refreshments, celebratory words from sister and brother writers, and a reading from If I Had the Wings.
About If I Had the Wings, From Peepal Tree Press...
Growing up gay is fraught with constraints and even danger in the small Greek-Bahamian community that feels its traditional culture and religious pieties are under threat. The main characters in Helen Klonaris’s poetic, inventive and at times transgressive collection of short stories confront this reality as part of their lives. Yet there are also ways in which young women in several of the stories search for roots in that tradition – to find within it, alternatives to the dominant influence of the Orthodox church. These include attempts to make connections between their Caribbean lives and the figures and narratives drawn from Greek mythology...
“Klonaris’ stories are a work of a different order. They testify that broken wings can fly to places of rest, if only temporary rest, on this journey called life. An important book that sings psalms of despair and the possible — to be and feel inside/outside and beyond the Bahamian and Caribbean box.”
— Marion Bethel, author of Bougainvillea Ringplay
“In this long-awaited and necessary debut, Helen Klonaris puts her cleaned-fish language in the service of a ferocity of observation. The winged subjunctive of the title asks us to see otherwise and then fly across boundaries, to desire denied; to connect when Power says No.”
— Christian Campbell, author of Running the Dusk