Yorgos Ioannou's "Refugee Capital: Thessaloniki Chronicles" shines a harsh, ironic, yet compassionate light on his birthplace, the city of Salonica. The human geography and consciousness of which were indelibly marked by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Asia Minor in the 1920's.
In the prose pieces and essays that make up Refugee Capital their story is told, often through the eyes of an adolescent narrator recreated by a writer at the peak of his powers. Yorgos Ioannou sets out to rescue the enduring from the clutches of the ephemeral, to reconcile the irreconcilable, to harmonize the discordant. So he does. And brings an entire city, and its inhabitants, to life in all their fractious diversity.