Ashes of pain

Ashes of pain

Author Kallia Papadaki believes that hope and compassion can be found in the least expected places where light can creep through the smallest of cracks. By Ramya Palisetty

There is a point in life where you decide what you want to do. Do you want to make your own path or will you give up, conform and follow the life that was made for you by others. Life is too precious for the desires of others to influence you. For the author, Kallia Papadaki, nothing else makes her feel the way writing does. Said she, “there is something ineffaceable and deep rooted about art. There are no criteria or norms to follow.”

Kallia Papadaki, a renowned author from Greece was in India representing the European Union at the World Book Fair. “It is a great opportunity to reveal our work to another nation, speak about the ways of writing and the story and struggles behind our novels. The inquisitive and interactive readers were responding well and the feedback they gave mattered the most,” said she.

Born in Didymoteicho, she has written short story collection, The Back-Lot Sound and a collection of poems, Lavender in December. Her third book, Dendrites has won the Young Author’s Award and European Union Prize for literature. It is a story about the quest for a meaningful life amidst the ruins of lost second chances, failed marriages, and broken careers. The emphasis is on how big dreams, small gestures, and unspoken words can create minute cracks that bring down walls, buildings and lives.

The life stories of strangers have stimulated an immense passion for writing in the author. The ability to understand and dwell into the depths of their souls gives a unique essence to the narration. The stories you hear and make up are based on who you are as a person, your experiences and the way you view and perceive the world. A writer breathes life into a character the way we do with ourselves and our future. “Every individual has several versions of who they want to be, who they might have been in the past and what they think about others. Also, every story has a dynamic perspective which makes the reader ponder about their awareness of the reality. It is the minute details and intricacies that are great material to build up a story”, she said.

The idea to write professionally was a gradual decision. She was inspired by American writers like John Updike and EL Doctorow. “In my graduate school, I read books by Indian authors like Jhumpa Lahiri, Anuradha Roy and Salman Rushdie. The Indian novelists have a great tradition when it comes to literature. They create a world with various cultures, history and rituals and evoke a sense of belongingness with vivid imaginative portrayal.

“Men of certain age like to read non-fiction but there is a wider audience for fiction. With the constant crisis in Greece, there is a lot of literature about the aftermath effects and the ways to deal with the crisis,”  said Papadaki, a person of routine, who likes to write in her office. When she isn’t writing, she usually takes long walks to think and let her mind wonder. There are no shortcuts to become an author. “Reading is the first and foremost requirement. Read as much as you can and maybe you will become a writer.” 



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