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y separately published work icon Dead Europe single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2005... 2005 Dead Europe
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The novel comprises two separate narratives. The first, told in the style of a fairytale, is set in a traditional Greek peasant village during and after World War II. Its world is still magical. ... The second narrative is set in the present time. The narrator is a 36-year-old gay, Greek-Australian photographic artist named Isaac. We meet Isaac at a time when he has travelled to Greece for what turns out to be a rather dismal officially funded exhibition of his works.'

Source: Manne, Robert. 'Dead Disturbing'. The Monthly. (June, 2005)


form y separately published work icon Dead Europe Louise Fox , ( dir. Tony Krawitz ) Australia : See Saw Films Porchlight Films , 2012 Z1859546 2012 single work film/TV

'Isaac, a Greek Australian in his late 20s, spirals out of control when he's forced to confront his own family's cursed legacy on his first trip to Europe - with the continent's haunted past and troubled present pressing in on him.'

Source: Inside Film website


  • Dedication: For 'Mitsos' Litras and Dimitris Tsolkas, in gratitude.
  • Epigraph: To a saintly man
    - So goes an Arab tale-
    God said somewhat maliciously:
    'Had I revealed to people
    How great a sinner you are,
    They could not praise you.'
    'And I,' answered the pious one,
    'Had I unveiled to them
    How merciful you are,
    They could not care for you.' (Czeslaw Milosz)

  • The adaptation of Dead Europe began filming in Sydney in September, 2011.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Vintage , 2005 .
      Extent: 411p.
      ISBN: 1740511948
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Atlantic Books ,
      2011 .
      Extent: 411p.
      ISBN: 9780857891228 (pbk.), 0857891227 (pbk.)
Alternative title: Ölü avrupa
Language: Turkish
    • Istanbul,
      Middle East, Asia,
      Versus Kitap ,
      2007 .
      Extent: 400p.
      ISBN: 9789944989220

Works about this Work

Deaths That Wound : The Traumatic Potential of Ghost Stories Samuel Finegan , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 35 2016;
'Trauma presents any writer with difficulties. Trauma lays outside the realm of representation, by definition something that cannot be expressed and that lies beyond ordinary means of recollection and representation. This article examines the close relationship that exists between trauma and ghost fiction. It highlights the potential ghost fictions, as a form of writing about death, offer writers as translators of historical and social trauma. By reading ghost fiction in tandem with scholarship on trauma fiction and autobiographical trauma writing, the article demonstrates how ghost fiction both prefigures a narrative understanding of memory and history in trauma studies, dramatizes some of the processes and risks of first and second party engagement with trauma and offers a unique opportunity to approach, interrogate and alleviate trauma from the outside. In short, ghost fiction enables creative interventions in social and historical memory not by offering realist ‘precise data’, but by ‘speaking for the ones who did not return’.' (Publication abstract)
Subaltern Cosmopolitanism : The Question of Hospitality in Christos Tsiolkas’ Dead Europe Jessica Brooks , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;
'Christos Tsiolkas’ novel Dead Europe (2005) moves beyond the local to discuss the effects of a globalised neo-imperialism and its implications for Australia. Tsiolkas uses a number of spectral metaphors to emphasise the dehumanisation that is the underside of capitalism and to imply that our present is haunted not only by the injustices of a traumatic historical past but also by the injustice that is to come as a result of today’s aggressive neo-imperialisms. As many have recognised, the novel explores a ‘subaltern’ cosmopolitanism of the marginalised and oppressed. Tsiolkas explores the fact that such subaltern cosmopolitanisms reconfigure our experience of alterity under capitalist globalization, in a manner that necessitates a radical reconsideration of our contemporary ethics. As a result the novel raises many ethical questions regarding the global mistreatment of the migrant and asylum seeker. Read through the lens of Derrida’s later political interrogations, we find that Dead Europe considers the ethics of hospitality—what it means to welcome and receive the ‘other’—and explores the economic violence and racial and religious intolerance that is so often behind violations of hospitality. Key to the novel’s exploration of these issues is Tsiolkas’ use of the spectral metaphor of the dead Jewish boy, Elias, who acts as a symbol for the cultural, political, and economic forces that lead to violations of hospitality.' (Publication abstract)
Writing Back or Writing off? Europe as “Tribe” and “Traumascape” in Works by Caryl Phillips and Christos Tsiolkas Janine Hauthala , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Postcolonial Writing , vol. 51 no. 2 2015; (p. 208-219)
'This article takes its cue from Caryl Phillips’s critique of Eurocentric “tribalism” in The European Tribe and compares it to the ghostly and highly dystopian “traumascape” of Dead Europe by the Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas. It argues that, in contrast to the predominantly black British frames of reference of Phillips’s counter-travelogue, Tsiolkas’s depiction of Europe is characterized by a transcultural shift. Scrutinizing this shift, the analysis of Tsiolkas’s novel demonstrates how transgressing generic boundaries and employing narrative unreliability and magical realism not only brings transculturality to the fore, but also creates reader complicity. The article goes on to examine the novel’s use of photography, since it plays a crucial role in depicting Europe as “traumascape” and, together with the novel’s unclear stance on anti-Semitism, invites readers to experience the struggle and tensions accompanying diasporic encounters and the emergence of transnational identities in contemporary fictions of Europe.' (Publication abstract)
Christos Tsiolkas and the Ghosts of Our Past Heather Taylor Johnson (interviewer), 2014 single work interview
— Appears in: Writers in Conversation , August vol. 1 no. 2 2014;
'With the arrival of his first novel in 1995, Loaded, Christos Tsiolkas became a voice for a new generation of Australians. The book’s main character, Ari – later made into the flesh by actor Alex Dimitriades in the film adaptation Head On – represented a young, gay Greek Australian man, angered by classism and racism to the point of self-destruction, and confused with his place in the world that surrounds him. This character would be reborn in many other men in Tsiolkas’ books, as would these themes become the crux of his work. His other novels include The Jesus Man (1999), Dead Europe (2005; winner of The Age Book of the Year), The Slap (2008; winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and adapted into an award winning mini-series) and his latest book Barracuda (2013). He is a multi-talented writer with an autobiography and book of essays to add to his collection, as well as ‘playwright’ and ‘screenwriter’ to add to his list of titles. Often referred to by literary critics as our most controversial writer, Christos Tsiolkas lays bare what it means to be Australian, and in this interview I revisit what for me is his most controversial book, Dead Europe.' (Introduction)
Take a Walk in Their Shoes : Empathy and Emotion in the Writing Process Enza Gandolfo , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 18 no. 1 2014;
'Christos Tsiolkas said Dead Europe ‘was a very difficult novel to write. It ... took me, in the writing of it, into dark and fearful places. As a writer you take on aspects of your characters and if you are not careful the world you are creating begins to blend with the world you actually inhabit’ (Tsiolkas 2008). There is substantial research demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of writing about one’s own traumas. But what are the challenges of writing fiction that requires imagining and creating traumatic events; evil, monstrous or tragic characters? If, as many argue, fiction makes readers more empathetic, it is because writers have created believable worlds that readers can inhabit. In order to create believable worlds that readers can inhabit these worlds and the characters that people them, writers have to inhabit their characters’ lives. This can mean spending years in very dark places. In this article I explore the emotional and physical impact this has on writers and look at ways writers might manage what Marguerite MacRobert calls the ‘emotional roller coaster’ (MacRobert 2012). This is an autoethnographic article and my aim is to contribute to our understanding of the processes of creative writing by exploring and interrogating my experience of writing fiction about traumatic experiences.' (Publication summary)
Unsettled By Europe's Dark Wasteland Natasha Cica , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 May 2005; (p. 8-9)

— Review of Dead Europe Christos Tsiolkas , 2005 single work novel
A Taste of European Decay Ian Syson , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 28 May 2005; (p. 4)

— Review of Dead Europe Christos Tsiolkas , 2005 single work novel
Dead Disturbing Robert Manne , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , June no. 2 2005; (p. 50-53)

— Review of Dead Europe Christos Tsiolkas , 2005 single work novel
Old World Order Sally Blakeney , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 14 June vol. 123 no. 6474 2005; (p. 68-69)

— Review of Dead Europe Christos Tsiolkas , 2005 single work novel
A Very Modern Ghost Story Michael Williams , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 272 2005; (p. 45)

— Review of Dead Europe Christos Tsiolkas , 2005 single work novel
European Vocation Sacha Molitorisz , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 18-19 June 2005; (p. 22-23)
Wrestling Demons Paul Lloyd , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 18 June 2005; (p. 11)
A Fortunate Son Richard Watts , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 3 July 2005; (p. 20)
The Year's Work in Fiction Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 50 no. 2005; (p. 56-67)
Shortlisted books for the 2004-2005 Miles Franklin Literary Award.
The Spectres Haunting Dead Europe Andrew McCann , Christen Cornell , Jeff Sparrow , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 181 2005; (p. 26-31)
Last amended 6 Jan 2015 11:48:03