The Mule's Foal
"In one despairing moment Theodosios abandons his wife and gorilla child and then spends a lifetime trying to get them back. But what's a lifetime in a place like this?
"One minute you're a woman. The next you're a bear. There's a woman here who is neither man nor woman. And a man who's both man and beast.
"Here nothing belongs to you - not even your grief. People steal your letters and gossip your thoughts before you've spoken them. And when they're desperate - and at some point everyone is desperate - they go to the whorehouse...
"From the centre of chaos, Mirella, the ancient whore, finds a calm place to tell this unforgettabe, timeless tale."
"Like ancient story-telling The Mule's Foal draws the reader into another world, yet there are signposts everywhere that lead to contemporary life. Mystical, sensual, intense: this writer has a poetic vision." - Andrea Stretton
About the Author:
Fotini Epanomitis was born in 1969, the year her family emigrated from Northern Greece to Perth where she has lived most of her life apart from one year spent living on her garndparent's farm in Greece. The Mule's Foal is her first novel.
It's been a while since young feet have walked the cobbled streets of this village. The young have moved to surrounding towns. What is there here for them? The valley dried up years ago, and anything you plant on the fields of the marshlands just rots. Only old people live here. Greeks and Turks side by side, and they grow a little tobacco, just enough to chew on through the winter. When the sun falls, an insignificant and weary man wanders into the village, sings a song, and then he wanders out again.
At about this time of day you can see the shrivelled old woman in her black sack, crossing the bridge on her way to the outskirts of the village where there is a spring of water amidst the rocks. The story says that this is St. Vaia's holy water. St. Vaia, who refused to abandon her faith for the Turks. They cut off her breasts and she bled to death. That is where the holy water is supposed to come from.
From the Allen and Unwin paperback edition, 1993.
This novel was the winner of the Australian/Vogel Award in 1992.
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Last modified: January 30, 2001.