Aggelioforos

As if by magic

“A tender book about the wonderful adventure of a life not beset by fears, and with the right friends.”

Report of committee for the awards of Diavazo magazine

As if by magic

“It treats the issue of the acceptance of difference in a particularly original manner and with a wealth of narrative techniques. Combining realism with imagination, the author creates fictional characters who, through the contrasting values they represent, challenge the child’s critical thinking and its ability to respond to reality. A text with many plot twists and a complex storyline, in a language that is particularly well crafted and alive and manages to enchant the reader, both young and old.”

Anta Katsiki_Guivalou, Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

As if by magic

The novel As if by magic my Maria Papayanni deals with the issue of difference and its acceptance in a way both strikingly original and contemporary in its narrative structure. Through the perceptions of the members of a strange family, especially the mother’s and the daughter’s, and through their way of life, the importance is highlighted of dreaming and miracles in everyday life, as they occur at a personal and interpersonal level, both in education and in the wider social sphere where the story is taking place. Difference is intimately linked with the concept of freedom, a person’s self-definition, the free expression of one’s views, resistance to violence, democratic consciousness and breaking new ground in one’s ideas and attitudes. The contrast and struggle between the established and the unconventional view of life, as well as the former’s attempts at dominance, permeate the text and the outcome is to elicit from the reader a sense of optimism, vitality and joy… This social novel of Maria Papayanni is characterized by realism and imagination, with elements of modern and post-modern writing…. Its language is especially well crafted, with a child’s point of view prevalent in the interpretation of events, subversive, with humor, originality and a wide range of narrative techniques that showcase in a fresh way complex and difficult issues of contemporary life. A book that captures, intrigues and enchants the young reader. Finally, by going beyond the expected and habitual, As if by magic is not only original in concept but also innovative as writing.

Aerostato magazine

The Lonesome Tree

“She manages to create an entire magical world. An entire universe of which we become members and participants. We are that efficiently drawn in by its power, made suggestible to its mood. Emotion, tenderness, freshness, vitality – the writer’s narrative prowess keeps us in thrall until the end.”

Liana Starida, archaeologist

The Lonesome Tree

“From the first page to the last, The Lonesome Tree holds us tightly against itself, offering us the coolness it hides inside its aged trunk, people’s whispers, their meanness and their treasures and, finally, light and brightness.”

Anthoula Daniel, language teacher, critic

The Lonesome Tree

“Papayanni follows the traditional recipe, after the enchanting storyteller of old, with the requisite distances, without verbal acrobatics, modernist stunts in her expressions, innuendos, insinuations, sly tricks and tripping up the reader, which would hinder the reader’s access to the text.”

Eleni Svoronou, Diavaseme

The Lonesome Tree

“If there is a recent book that repeals the boundaries between children’s and adult literature, that would be The Lonesome Tree. It is one of the books that mark you for life, irrespectively of your age when you read it.”

Erifylli Maroniti, journalist

The Lonesome Tree

“Successfully and with admirable narrative economy, she weds themes and motifs of fairytales and myth, including contemporary myths.”