God Is My Witness

Review by Parikiaki


The novel God Is My Witness by Makis Tsitas, which won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2014, is now available in English from Aiora Press. The English edition of God Is My Witness joins the ten other translations of this work, highly regarded by readers and critics alike. God Is My Witness is the first novel by a contemporary author included in the prestigious series Modern Greek Classics from Aiora Press. The series features modern classics by distinguished Greek authors including: Cavafy, Papadiamantis, Vizyinos, Seferis, Elytis, Ritsos, Theotokis, Venezis, and Laskaratos, among others. It is the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and Chrysovalantis – a chronically unsuccessful but enthusiastic employee of the publishing industry – has lost his job, yet again. He begins a vitriolic monologue, taking aim at his many persecutors, from cruel bosses to opportunistic women to embarrassing, crippling illnesses. An ageing relic of a by gone era, hounded by the challenges of a fast-changing city, he none-theless sees the irony of his plight. Vice-ridden yet God-fearing, family-loving yet swindled even by his own sisters, this repentant anti-hero will set his record straight once and for all. And God is his witness.

Makis Tsitas was born in Giannitsa in 1971. He majored in journalism and worked for several radio stations in Thessaloniki. Since 1994 he has lived in Athens where he works in publishing. From 2012 to the present he has been directing Diastixo.gr, a website on books and culture. He is a member of the Hellenic Authors’ Society. His literary works have been included in anthologies, published in magazines and newspapers, and translated into German, French, Spanish, English, Hebrew, Albanian, Bulgarian, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, and Italian. Some of his works have also been staged and directed by Roula Pateraki, Ersi Vasilikioti, Sophia Karagianni, Taru Makela, Alexandru Mazgareanu. His lyrics have been set to music by Giorgos Stavrianos, Takis Soukas, and Tatiana Zografou. He has published 22 books for children and 3 for adults. His novel God Is My Witness, earned him the 2014 European Union Prize for Literature and honors by the Municipalities of Athens, Pella, and Edessa, the Central Public Library of Edessa, as well as the Region of Central Macedonia. God Is My Witness is available in 11 European languages.