Mother Tongue (Paperback)

By Vassilis Alexakis, Harlan R. Patton (Translated by)

Autumn Hill Books, 9780982746691, 200pp.

Publication Date: February 15, 2017

List Price: 15.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This book chronicles the quest of a man named Pavlos as he is attempting to solve the mystery of the Delphic Epsilon while also coming to terms with his mother’s recent death. After twenty years living and working in Paris as a newspaper cartoonist, Pavlos returns to his native Greece with no job and no clear plans for the future, beyond occasionally checking in on his widowed father. The novel traces his Quixotic adventures—from his mission to collect words that start with the Greek letter E to his unsuccessful attempts to find his place within Greek intellectual and artistic circles—with the author’s characteristic humor and sharp observational eye. At its heart this is a story of living in-between: between languages, between the past and the present, between life and death.

About the Author

Vassilis Alexakis is the author of Avant, Foreign Words, La Langue Maternelle, and Papa, all in French, and Talgo, which he wrote in Greek and later translated into French. He has also produced four films and a collection of drawings. He lives in Paris. Harlan R. Patton is a French-to-English translator. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Praise For Mother Tongue

"Reading Alexakis gives the impression of being invited to a long dinner, sprinkled with raki, accompanied by a host of learned men and women."  —Le Monde