Data from the Decade of the Sixties

Trade Paper – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1699-3
Publication Date
February 2000
Page Count
307 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 3/4

Data from the Decade of the Sixties

A Novel
Thanassis Valtinos

Winner of Greece’s National Book Award for Best Novel in 1990 and short-listed for the Aristeion European Literature Prize in 1991, Data from the Decade of the Sixties is a masterpiece by Greek author Thanassis Valtinos.

Just as Greece today struggles to adapt to a shifting political landscape, so Greece in the 1960s was convulsed by the collision of tradition and cultural transformation. In Data from the Decade of the Sixties, Valtinos assembles voices, stories, and news clips that capture the transformation of Greece, the monarchy giving way to a republic via dictatorship, the industrialization of its agricultural society, and the replacement of arranged marriages with love matches.

The many voices in this tour de force coalesce in a bricolage of documents: personal letters between friends and family, news reports, advertisements, and other written ephemera. As governments fall, sexologists, fortune-tellers, garage owners, and lonely matrons advertise their specialties and fantasies in want ads, while the young and lonely find escape within the cheap novels, movies, and gossip columns that enliven their barren existence.
Together these testimonies illuminate the tumult of 1960s Greece, where generations and values clash and Greek society struggles to adapt. Valtinos captures the pulse of a decade, portraying the spirit of the century in Greece and throughout the world.
About the Author

Thanassis Valtinos was born in Greece in 1932.  A recipient of a Ford Foundation grant and an honorary fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Valtinos has won numerous awards for his innovative work.  A member of the International Theater Institute and the former president of the Society of Greek Writers, he continues to write fiction and screenplays and to translate classical Greek drama for the theater.  

Jane Assimakopoulous is an American writer and translator, lives in Ioannina, Greece.

Stavros Deligioris is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Iowa.

"[A] moving portrait of a country and its people in a state of transition and crisis." —Times Literary Supplement

 “[T]he title novella, which brilliantly portrays an aging woman’s barely contained fury at the changes time is working on her body and mind, expresses in striking microcosmic form Valtinos’s compact and coherent vision of a world destroyed by the inexorable necessity of change.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Thanks to an idiosyncratic, always intriguing, and consistently challenging literary discourse, Thanassis Valtinos has established himself as the most successful and innovative contemporary Greek storyteller.”
—Modern Greek Studies

"[T]his strange novel makes delicious--and frightening--reading. One feels like a voyeur given access to the secret heartache of Greek women betrayed in love, to the despair of unemployed men determined to emigrate to Australia or "anywhere," to the machinations of palace and church--in sum, to the hidden underside of Greek life." —World Literature Today