clockroot books

Karapanou leads us into the labyrinth where God lives.
One must read her as one reads Rimbaud or Blake…
—Jerome Charyn, Le Monde







The Sleepwalker

by Margarita Karapanou

translated by Karen Emmerich

At the opening of The Sleepwalker, God, in disgust at mankind, vomits a new Messiah onto the earth. Or rather, onto a Greek island—a Tower of Babel, populated by villagers, ex-pats, artists, writers, assembled as though in wait for something as horrific and comic as this second coming. With Manolis, country policeman and newly minted Messiah, we encounter the islanders, including: Mark, the artist who only paints headless boys; Luka, who suffers from writer’s block and fears she’s in love with a killer; Alfredo, who brings to the island a single book and a terrible plague. The Sleepwalker moves dizzyingly between genres—thriller, satire, magical realism—in Karapanou’s signature deft fashion: the stakes raised scene by scene. “To read [her] works is to realize the magnitude of the loss when Greek novelist Margarita Karapanou died quite suddenly in 2008,” the Review of Contemporary Fiction has noted. The Sleepwalker—desperately comic, monstrously compassionate—is a singular achievement by an inimitable writer, now in English at last.
ISBN: 9781566568388 • $16 paperback • Fall 2010
cover art © 2010 Ihrie Means



excerpt on Words Without Borders

other books by Karapanou:

Rien ne va plus

Kassandra and the Wolf