Ruin: Essays in Exilic Living

The essays in Ruin link meditations on teaching, friendship, motherhood, love, the financial meltdown in Greece, the shared language of politics and advertising, Occupy Wall Street, and the Parthenon Marbles into a relentless interrogation of identity and loss. Kalfopoulou’s Athens and New York are twinned sites of perpetual dislocation, palimpsests of political, economic, cultural and personal crisis. The refugee, the immigrant, the fragmented I charted in these essays all are studies in exilic living, pilgrims wandering the wreckage of late capitalism.

Praise for Ruin

“Balancing along the boundary that separates memoir, travel writing, and journalism, Ruin courageously explores not only cities (Athens, New York, Freiburg, among others) but states of mind and soul in a pulsing, fraying time. Reading Ruin, we share Kalfopoulou’s honesty and anger, her vulnerability and nerve, her sense of humor and beauty.”—Rachel Hadas, author of The Golden Road

“In Adrianne Kalfopoulou’s brilliant book of essays, Ruin, we accompany her on the pitted road of motherhood, friendship, love, the financial meltdown of Greece—and, centrally, the pilgrim’s journey into memory. Kalfopoulou’s mediations are more politically incisive than any other book of personal essays I’ve read in ages. Her self-possession and attention to suffering and her pitch of self-questioning are sharp and rare. As with the finest essayists, she is ‘like pagans respectful of what the unpredictable might have in store for us.’ But never too respectful. ‘I am a reluctant traveler,’ she tells us, but in her company, we never are.””—David Lazar, author of Occasional Desire

Adrianne Kalfopoulou

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

Genre/Imprint: Non-Fiction, Red Hen Press

$15.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-537-2

Download the Press Kit Here


World Literature Today can’t get enough of Ruin!

Recently, Melissa Aadmo, writing for World Literature Today, published a review of Adrianne Kalfopoulou's Ruin: Essays in Exilic Living, praising the "sharp, lyrical" style of Adrianne's writing and singing her […]

Broome Street Review has high praise for RUIN!

Recently, Andrew E. Colarusso, writing for Broome Street Review, wrote a review of Adrianne Kalfopoulou's RUIN, and had nothing but good things to say. "Ruin was written to remind us: […]

Forewords Reviews has high praise for Ruin!

In it's Winter 2015 issue, Foreword Reviews recently ran a review of Adrianne Kalfopoulou's new book Ruin: Essays in Exilic Living and they are big fans. Here's what Sara Budzik […]