Review #18: ‘You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek)’ by Eleni Sikelianos

Eleni Sikelianos
  • PUBLISHED BY: Coffee House Press, 2014
  • REVIEW BY: Timothy Liu


Imagine if your grandmother were a Greek exotic dancer who pranced and pounced on stage in leopard garb in post-war Middle America, there for you to discover in clippings and photos from a family scrapbook, all of it mixed through and through with hearsay, family folklore, and wild flights of speculative fancy over five marriages (including one to a dwarf!), what might such a lyrical text look like? Just like Sikelianos’ maternal grandmother, which is to say, like no one else. Technically “an essay,” this hybrid work (on the heels of The Book of Jon) is simply sui generis, refreshingly unclassifiable.

Disclosures: By the time I made it out to that rock shop in the desert, I began to feel like a detective in my own unexamined life.

Favorites: Just like a scrapbook, turn to whatever catches your eyes first, and go from there.

Read Sikelianos (and recently reviewed Harryette Mullen) at Bombay Gin. Find Sikelianos on page 124!