by Tashko Georgievski, translated by Elizabeth Kolupacev Stewart
Black Seed is a great political and humanistic novel of contemporary
literature. It is one of the few books that examines life in the Greek
prison camps during the Greek Civil War, providing a rare insight into
a period when the State-sponsored persecution of political dissidents
and ethnic minorities, particularly Macedonians, was at its most intense.
The main character, Doni, is an ethnic Macedonian from Aegean Macedonia
(northern Greece). Conscripted into the Greek army, he is accused of
being a communist and along with other political prisoners is taken
to one of the concentration camps and forced to "confess"
and pledge allegiance to Greece. But Doni has nothing to confess; his
crime is simply to be a Macedonian.
Written in a direct and succinct style, Black Seed is a story of courage,
compassion and truth which is universal in meaning. It will move everyone
who reads it.
First published in 1966, Black Seed won the "13 November Award"
from the City of Skopje. It has been made into a successful film and
has been translated into a number of European languages. This is the
first translation into English.
The author, Tashko Georgievski, was born in Voden in Aegean Macedonia
in 1935 and left Greece as a refugee in 1946. He has published over
12 books and is one of Macedonia's most acclaimed contemporary authors.
The book also contains an article on Georgievski by Mateja Matevski,
one of Macedonia's leading international poets. The article discusses
the theme of "returning" which is common in Georgievki's books
and which echoes the feelings of many thousands of Macedonians who,
because of Greek government policy, are denied the right to return to
their homes in Aegean Macedonia.
Black Seed ('Crno Seme' in Macedonian) is available in Australia for
$18, which includes postage and GST. Overseas airmail is A$22.
Black Seed, Paperback, 113 pages, Celloglazed cover, Published by Pollitecon
Publications, 1996, ISBN 978-0-9586789-0-2
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