Because Memory Isn't Eternal: A Story of Greeks in Upstate South Carolina

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9781891885730: Because Memory Isn't Eternal: A Story of Greeks in Upstate South Carolina

In 1895, Nicholas Trakas left his village in southern Greece, boarded a steamship for America, and made his way to another southern village, Spartanburg, where he became the South Carolina city's first Greek resident. He opened The Elite--one of the finest candy kitchens in the South--built a house on a lot he purchased for $44 and a pet parrot that could cuss in Greek, and began a wave of immigration from his home country into the burgeoning Upstate area.

A century later, his grandson, Deno Trakas, a writer and professor at Wofford College, explores a peculiarly Southern version of the Greek-American story in Because Memory Isn't Eternal. By introducing readers to four generations of Trakas family members, their remarkable friends, and their hardworking business partners, he tells a greater story and reflects on how these complex, larger-than-life characters have preserved the best of Greek culture down South. This intimate and often humorous memoir includes stories of Greek-American marriages, food, language, restaurants, religion, and misadventures, including the day two Trakas boys accidentally burned down the family's church.

A constantly repeated refrain at Greek funerals is ''Aionia i mnimi'' - ''May his (or her) memory be eternal.'' More often, Trakas reveals, memory is ''painfully, annoyingly short.'' His loving illustrated tribute to Greek-Americans assures that these stories and this history will not be forgotten.

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About the Author:

Deno Trakas has published fiction and poetry in more than two dozen journals, including the Denver Quarterly, Oxford American, and the Louisville Review. He is a professor of English at Wofford College, where he also serves as director of the writing center and coordinator of the creative writing program. Trakas lives in Spartanburg, SC.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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