The Feasts of Memory – Stories of a Greek Family by Elias Kulukundis

The Feasts of Memory – Stories of a Greek Family by Elias Kulukundis

Published by Peter E. Randall, Portsmouth, NH. (This book was first published by Holt, Rhinehart & Winston. This revised edition includes a new chapter.)
236 pages. 5″ x 7-7/8″, paperback

The new and revised edition of The Feasts of Memory, subtitled “Stories of a Greek Family” presents an exciting combination of a Mediterranean travelogue and the author’s autobiography as a ship owner and writer.

The author has added new material about his grandfather’s successful navigation from the age of sail to steam and a portrait of his uncle Manuel Kulukundis, who was overshadowed in the original by his brother George.

The Feasts of Memory brings alive a world of ancient traditions and colorful customs that will touch the life of anyone wishing to discover Greece. The famous Greek shipping family of Kulukundis is the source of inspiration for a clever combination of travel book, Kulukundis’ autobiography, and a collection of the family’s stories. The tales told around the dinner tables of his family in exile recreate the ancestors’ life on the island of Kasos.

Through a collection of family stories, it vividly captures the nostalgia and excitement that accompany one’s search for origins as a key to one’s identity and meaning in life.

The Feasts of Memory is a book that inspires all those who left their homeland behind as well as those in search of new realms.

About the author
Grandson of two Kasiot sea captains and son of a Kasiot shipowner, Elias Kulukundis was born in London in 1937. Three years later his family moved to America and he grew up in Rye, New York. Nevertheless, he feels that he grew up in a Greek world.

Educated at Phillips Exeter and Harvard, he became a versatile linguist as well as a writer. Mr. Kulukundis translated Viktor Nekrasov’s Both Sides of the Ocean from the Russian.

A shipping financier as well as a writer, he spends his leisure time singing musical comedy and opera. He has combined these interests in his latest work, a libretto for an opera entitled Three Brides For Kasos, based on his story The Hollow Crown.”

Mr. Kulukundis currently lives in New York.

“The Feasts of Memory by Elias Kulukundis is a rich literary banquet. It’s a fascinating travel memoir that echoes the writings on Greece of Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell, a revealing family chronicle of one of the great Greek shipping dynasties, and a sharply etched portrait of Aegean island life as it was lived for centuries but is now rapidly fading away.” — Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni

“Elias Kulukundis is a born story-teller, one of those rare and enchanting people who instinctively disentangle the essential story from the confusion of past reminiscences … and give it a new lease of life.” — Helen Vlachos, The Spectator

“I read it with delight and recognition and could hardly put it down. It captures wonderfully not only the long, dark-rooted traditions of island Greece with its pride, humor, irony and tragedy; it gives also the especial flavor of the Dodecanese.” — Mary Renault

“An excellent anecdotal account of Kasiot history, lore, and customs, some of them as savage as Homer’s; and beyond that, (the book) is a beautiful and imaginative exploration of a writer’s relationship to his origins.”– The New Yorker

“Kulukundis is the last of the big spenders – what a beautiful job. It’s fantasy and yet it’s not fantasy. It’s a personal history, which forces the present to have importance through the past. … Mr. Kulukundis has searched out his roots and has tied them to the present – this act alone is commendable in an age of ‘kill me or kiss me, Johnny, but do it quick’.” — John Cassavetes

“Good and original and solid, a marvelous piece of work for a young writer (or an old writer) to have done.” — Laura Z. Hobson