Reading Club: Defenseless - Εικόνα

The SNFCC Reading Club, aiming to introduce to the public important texts of international literature and - through the coordinator - a new generation of writers, continues with another online get-together in March, with a brand new host, Giannis Palavos, author of the beloved The child and Joke.

Book lovers make a date for the last Monday of the month, March 29th, to talk about all things literary – or not! Inspired by the book of the month, the group of readers will come together once again to share their experiences, feelings and thoughts, make friends and exchange opinions.

Giannis Palavos takes over as host from Panos Tsiros, who launched the Reading Club in July 2020. 

March book of the month: Defenseless, Dimitris Hatzis 

Dimitris Hatzis (1913 – 1981) is one of the most innovative representatives of post-war realism. As a short story writer, he is classed among those who follow in the tradition of Papadiamantis and Vizyinos, despite the fact that he never thought of himself as an imaginative and productive creator. He once confessed: “My work was the fruit of hard and persistent intellectual labor. I was always lacking that natural and spontaneous outpouring. […] I wrote slowly, torturously, almost as if I condemned to enforced labor.” And he continues: “My teacher […] was a poet: Cavafy. And I always thought of my way as transferring the lyrical technique of Cafavy into prose.” Hatzis formed a literary bridge between the Interwar generation and that of the Resistance, and conveyed his social preoccupations in his writing with candid humanity. He wrote poetry, novels, short stories and essays. Born in Ioannina and a political exile abroad for several years, he lived a life stranger than fiction, keeping Greece always in his heart and in his work, of which he is most well-known for The end of our small town, The double book, and The face of modern Hellenism

Defenseless, one of the top works to come out of the eminent author’s mature period, was published in 1965. This iconic short story collection bears the unmistakable ideological and aesthetic mark of Hatzis who, using a direct and lyrical language, creates a multifaceted narrative, equally tender as it is harsh, with stories that speak of a Greece recovering from civil war, of reconciliation, of perpetrators and victims alike desperately seeking to heal their wounds. 

The book consists of seven short stories starring common people, often social outcasts, who struggle to survive in a relentless sociohistorical reality, but are eventually crushed by life itself: Marianna who sought, in vain, the “four-leaf clover” in her youth, Pantelis who lost everything and was helped by his friends to be appointed “guard of antiquities” in his old age, the orphan Konstantis who was bullied by the other children, the gentle giant Hamalaros who stood up for him, and many others… Heroes that are living mirrors of the post-war Greece of yesterday, in whose faces we recognize something of ourselves today. 

Giannis Palavos was born in Velvento, Kozani, in 1980. He studied Journalism at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Arts Administration at the Panteion University in Athens. He has written the short story collections True love and other stories (Intro Books 2007), Joke (Nefeli 2012), which received the State Literary Award for Best Short Story, and the Short Story Prize of the online literary journal O Anagnostis, and The child (Nefeli, 2019). Working together with Tasos Zafeiriadis, he wrote the script for the graphic novels The Corpse (Jemma Press 2011) and Gra-Grou (Ikaros 2017), illustrated by Thanasis Petrou; Gra-Grou received the prize for Best Comic and Best Script at the Greek Comics Awards. He also edited the republication of Athanasios Gravalis’ short stories Broken Columns (1930), as part of the “Prose Tradition” series by Nefeli Publishing (2019), and translated works by Tobias Wolff, Alden Nowlan, Breece D'J Pancake, Wallace Stegner, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, etc. 

Monday 29/03, 18.30-20.30


For adults
Up to 50 participants
Participation by online pre-registration

Pre-registration starts on Monday 01/03 at 12.00

Coordinator: Giannis Palavos, author

To take part in the Reading Club, registered participants are required to have read the book of the month. 

The Reading Club will meet online via Zoom.


See also

Wednesday 27/01, 19:00

Faces of the Hero: Readings | Lydia Fotopoulou reads Orlando by Virginia Woolf


Wednesday 24/02, 19:00

Faces of the hero: Readings | Maria Protopappa reads The Grasshopper by Anton Chekhov