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Angelo Loukakis

In The Bush (2014), Don Watson explored notions of what that most variegated of terms, ‘the bush’, meant to earlier generations, including his own family. In ...

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For the Patriarch first appeared in 1981 and was much lauded, winning a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. The work is an important landmark in migrant writing. Angelo Loukakis, although born in Australia, identifies with the first generation of post-World War II migrants who are under-represented in our literature. Their children and grandchildren are the ones who have engaged with the complexities of what it means to be Australian while acknowledging that their roots lie elsewhere.

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The Battle of Crete began on the morning of 20 May 1941 with a new kind of warfare. German paratrooper battalions either parachuted or rode gliders down onto a defending force of British, ANZAC and Greek troops. The invasion took two weeks of bloody fighting to achieve its objectives. It was not, as Greek-Australian writer, Angelo Loukakis has his Australian soldier, Vic Stockton describe it: ‘For the Germans Crete had proved no more than an exercise.’ In fact, airborne invasion was not attempted again. Hitler’s thrust into the Soviet Union on June 22 was almost destabilised, and when the battle was over, 5000 Allied troops were abandoned to certain captivity on the southern coast near the town of Xora Sfakion.

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Vernacular Dreams by Angelo Loukakis

May 1986, no. 80
In ‘Partying on Parquet’, the story from Vernacular Dreams chosen by Don Anderson for inclusion in Transgressions, the hapless Steve attempts to hold a party for his HSC tutor Penny. The party is split into two small groups: Penny and her ‘uni friends’ Jan and Greg, and Marina and Pavlos, ‘dumb ethnics like himself whom he had met at Greek dancing class’. Naturally everything goes wrong, from the loudness of heels on the parquet floor to the botched lunge at Penny in the kitchen. But this is not just a simple story of humiliation. Steve is depicted at the end standing under the shower moving from resolutions (‘As for Greg and Jan, the only way he would ever be able to get on top of smart arses like them was to beat them at their own game,’) to what might be called ‘shower dreams’: ‘The steam had got so thick, he could hardly see a thing. He stared up at the ceiling. It was hanging there like a mist, a fog, with the light shining through; and it as his for as long as he wanted.’ ... (read more)