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

για το βιβλίο “Ως διά μαγείας” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

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

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“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

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“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

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“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

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“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.”

Petros Panaou Associate Professor, University of Georgia, Language and Literacy Education

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

In conclusion, I’d say the novel touches on the borders of magical realism, which as inspired writers like Gabriel-Garcia Marquez have demonstrated often manages to reveal truths about the reality of a place in a manner and intensity and passion that realism cannot even approximate.

Erifylli Maroniti, journalist

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

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

Eleni Saranditi, Eleftherotypia

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“A social work, a mural of landscapes and people in a language that is genuine, alive and disciplined. Also, of feelings which, though they are abundant, get injured and go into hiding. Yet, they are real.”

Report of the committee for National Awards

για το βιβλίο “Το ∆έντρο το Μονάχο” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“The dynamics of the plot and the graphic depiction of the characters, both adults and children, compose a contemporary ethography suffused with the stylistic finesse of Maria Papayanni.”

Eleni Beteinaki,

για το βιβλίο “Παπούτσια µε φτερά” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“A torrent of words, images, feelings. Every page a sojourn into dreaming, reflecting. A sojourn to the depths of the soul, to the things unspoken, the terrible things hiding there which we fear being drawn out to the open in case they cause injury, in case they are injured. A book about dreams, innermost thoughts, bewilderment, fears, about people who won’t stop dreaming. A book-long poem about the greatest truth. That of the quest for the soul of our dream, love towards people, ideas, memories, traditions. A book so we don’t forget our heritage, our debt to history, to poetry, culture and to our own self. A book that is read in one fell swoop because it isn’t right to cut dreams in half, they need to come to an end, leaving that sweet aftertaste than is visible for the day’s duration, in the eyes, the face, the soul.”