Winner of Greece’s National Book Award for Best Novel in 1990 and short-listed for the Aristeion European Literature Prize in 1991, Data from the Decade of the Sixties is a masterpiece by Greek author Thanassis Valtinos.
Just as Greece today struggles to adapt to a shifting political landscape, so Greece in the 1960s was convulsed by the collision of tradition and cultural transformation. In Data from the Decade of the Sixties, Valtinos assembles voices, stories, and news clips that capture the transformation of Greece, the monarchy giving way to a republic via dictatorship, the industrialization of its agricultural society, and the replacement of arranged marriages with love matches.
The many voices in this tour de force coalesce in a bricolage of documents: personal letters between friends and family, news reports, advertisements, and other written ephemera. As governments fall, sexologists, fortune-tellers, garage owners, and lonely matrons advertise their specialties and fantasies in want ads, while the young and lonely find escape within the cheap novels, movies, and gossip columns that enliven their barren existence.
Together these testimonies illuminate the tumult of 1960s Greece, where generations and values clash and Greek society struggles to adapt. Valtinos captures the pulse of a decade, portraying the spirit of the century in Greece and throughout the world.