a novel by Manolis
Circle is a political intrigue story that reflects recent world events and their aftermath. The characters are caught between circumstances of their cultures and politics of the times, players who are not what they portray: naïve and cunning, loyal and duplicitous, sentimental and appetite driven.
The story peers back at the war in Iraq as through an un-typical lens: that of the Iraqi citizen, whose family members were killed, whose property was destroyed, and who turn to their liberator/aggressor for opportunity, in the process getting close enough to witness some of their hosts' own self-destruction.
Circle is a book attempting to uncover emotional responses to catastrophes that changed the lives of people in an unparalleled way, while it explores the genesis of hatred and its origins.
"This the way of a man against himself when one is in the pangs of hatred."
Hakim sits on the windowsill, his gaze spreading to the other side of the road from his fourth-floor, 1000-square-foot, two bedroom apartment opposite Grandview Memorial Park. He has been renting this small place for the past three years, while trying to save for a down payment to buy a place of his own. The building is fairly new and his rent affordable. His Uncle Ibrahim always told him, "If you want to get ahead in life, make sure you buy real estate."
He feels very comfortable and has decorated it well. He is happy with the job he's had for the last one-and-a-half years with a small computer company. A shareholder earning good money, he is able to afford a two-year-old, red Honda Accord, his pride and joy. He also prides himself on the sensible way he leads his life.
Hakim comes from a country devastated by war and knows he will have to work hard for a long time to establish himself in his new country. Jennifer, his girlfriend of eight months, has helped him decorate his apartment, in selecting carpets, furniture, bedding, and much more. Although an immense help, Hakim sometimes thinks she goes too far, crowding his space and insisting her view to be correct every time.
Jennifer is twenty-five, a beautiful brunette with light green eyes and fair complexion. She has grown up in Los Angeles, has a degree in economics, and works for a small finance company. She earns enough to live on her own, although she still lives with her parents in their house off Glendale toward South Brand Blvd. in Pasadena.
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About the Author
Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet and author. He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Masters for the Arts in Literature. He is recognized for his ability to convey images and thoughts in a rich and evocative way that tugs at something deep within the reader. Born in the village of Kolibari on the island of Crete in 1947, he moved with his family at a young age to Thessaloniki and then to Athens, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences from the Panteion University of Athens. After graduation, he served in the armed forces for two years and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver, and stock broker, and studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University. He has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry, which are steadily being released as published works. His articles, poems and short stories in both Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, and Greece. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, Swedish, German, Hungarian languages and has been published in book form or in magazines in various countries. He now lives in White Rock, where he spends his time writing, gardening, traveling, and heading Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company which he founded in 2006 with the mission of publishing literary books. His translation book George Seferis-Collected Poems was shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards, the highest literary recognition of Greece.
"The Circle will appeal to those interested in the Iraqi war and particularly those who deride the motives for American initiation of that war. The plot focuses on changing, by any means, the American imposition of its influence abroad. Manolis suggests that a greater good can be served by redirecting the American war funding to peaceful use. He writes in a present-tense style and covers a range of human emotions, including sexual gratification, as his Iraqi characters enjoy the abundance of a land they plot to punish. "
– Michael Zrymiak
"Imagine a spy thriller, written by a poet, in which an Iraqi elite that survived Saddam Hussein's insane endgame with Uncle Sam, sets out to create a new New World Order. Add a liberal sprinkling of sexual romps, financial skullduggery, boardroom backstabbing, and exotic locales. What you have is, The Circle, a novel by Manolis. If you ever wondered about the official version of events, you will want to read, The Circle. "
– Bob Friedland