for the book 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.