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We’re happy to be hosting Georgeos C. Awgerinos on his EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE Virtual Book Tour today!

 

Title: Eugenia: Destiny and Choice
Author: Georgeos C. Awgerinos
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 280
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Debut novelist Georgeos Constantin Awgerinøs paints an epic love story and political
thriller in EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE. The title character,
Eugenia “Jenny” Corais, a
Columbia University graduate, is an
idealistic young feminist and intellectual who charts her destiny against such
volatile backdrops
as cabaret-era Berlin,
America during the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, and the violent final days of colonial Africa.
With its potent combination of politics and romance, EUGENIA: DESTINY
AND CHOICE
resembles  Erich Segal’s LOVE STORY, coupled with a tale of
political intrigue that would fit comfortably in the novels of Graham Greene,
John Le Carre
or Stieg Larsson, and historical developments
reminiscent of James A. Michener.
Awgerinøs’s title character, Eugenia, is complicated. Her idealism
and social consciousness, the author notes, is tempered with “a compulsive
curiosity for the weird, unusual, or forbidden. She aims at the light but she
cannot resist the temptation of the darkness.”
Jenny’s co-protagonists include Dietrich Neuendorf, a charismatic and unyielding German human rights attorney haunted by his family’s past and his country’s history. He and Jenny quickly fall in love.
A third character, Desmond Henderson, attracts Jenny’s darker side. Despite his humble origins and abundant charm, Henderson has a deeply dark core. A former British colonial officer, he is the head of South Africa’s military industrial apparatus, linked to the high echelons of international corporate elite and secret intelligence. He is an immense figure who designs mass murder and forced relocations on spreadsheets and is involved in some of the most defining political acts of the 20th century.
But in this novel, even the most invincible have an Achilles heel. As Awgerinos puts it, “EUGENIA doesn’t romanticize power; rather, the book demystifies the
powerful by exposing the intimate, vulnerable and disowned aspects of human
psyche.”
Jenny, Dietrich, and Desmond cross paths and embark on a perilous journey together in an exotic African country, a wonder of nature that faces massive winds of historical tide and a catastrophic revolution.
“Through my characters and their interaction, I try to convey another view on love and
sexual conflict, society, human nature and beyond-natural, democracy and
collective mind control,” says Awgerinøs. “I also try to offer a historical
account about a very volatile era in a turbulent region,
Southern Africa.”
Awgerinøs hints that he is working on a sequel to EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE. Meanwhile, EUGENIA shows great potential to be adapted as an exciting and
thought-provoking feature motion picture or TV movie.

For More Information

Interview with the Author:

What initially got you interested in writing?

 

I discovered writing in elementary school. My writing pad was the window to distant worlds in time and space, my pen was the magic wand that could get me there. At the stroke of a pen I could travel to medieval Europe, to prehistoric Atlantis or to a futuristic galaxy a million light years away from Earth or even cross dimensions. I could create heroes, knights, queens, and villains; I could dispense justice or not at whim; kill the protagonist if I wanted without the fear of karma. I could be the creative force, the god of my own Realm… until I heard the voice of my mother reminding me that dinner was ready.

 

I also discovered that writing gave me a celebrity status in the classroom, as my assignments and essays were written in an unusual format, often with unexpected turns, dramatized scenes and climaxing conclusions. Perhaps my ability to attract attention was an additional incentive to consider a career as a novelist and dramatist.

 

What genres do you write in?

 

My writing could be considered a cross-genre or multi-genre form; or you could call it Awgerinos-writing. All of my novels, whether historical or socio-psychological, or even the crime stories, could be classified as “roman à clef,” based on real life and highlighting some metaphorical and symbolic theme. Underlying and driving the surface plot is a moral or social message, or philosophical concept.

 

What drew you to writing these specific genres?

 

My love for history and geography, and my passion for psychology and the complexities of human behavior provided an abundance of colorful themes and topics. The dark side of the psyche has been a main concern. Through my writing I could share with the reader my curiosity and perhaps my explanations for why society creates certain characters. Why do people cheat? Why does a woman who happily lives with her family and loving husband run away with a rough dude? I was walking in the red light section late one night and wondering what makes a woman choose to work in one of these places while she could have a better income and quality of life working at a socially acceptable job? What would lead a man to collaborate with a brutal oppressor occupying his country, and volunteer to be an executioner of his own people? What makes a devout priest become a molester? What instinct urges a group of young white men to stop an African-American passerby and hang him from a tree just to have some Saturday night fun? Why do so many people have such a concern about the gay stranger but they don’t care if their children play with toy guns? What does a worker in a prison’s death row do after executing a condemned inmate with a lethal injection? Does he go for a coffee and chat? Does he go back home to his family to watch the latest news? All of the above simple examples could become themes of social investigation under the façade of a novel’s narrative. I would add that my propensity for exploratory traveling has brought out the adventurer in me; my curiosity for unexplained political or military occurrences has brought up my predisposition to suspect intricate conspiracies; and my wishful thinking has created ideal characters, which often become the heroes of my stories like Dietrich Siegfried Neuendorf, the Homeric Epic-resembling, larger than life protagonist of my novel Eugenia.

 

How did you break into the field?

 

I haven’t broken into the field yet, I just try to push my way through.

 

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

 

Eugenia is an allegory, in which each of the central characters resembles energy fields, psychological and spiritual archetypes. The narrative provides a plausible proposal for a future open democracy for the human family, while illustrating the complexities of love and sexuality, and the abyss of the human psyche. Eugenia is also a vivid tapestry giving readers an intimate view of diverse and often conflicting cultures and societies, in variety ranging from Berlin’s cabaret era, to Columbia University in the sixties, to a war of independence in Southern Africa.

 

The excerpts below reflect some central principal concepts of the novel:

1) “Trying to understand people is like interpreting dreams.”

2) “When I witness injustice and I remain silent, I’m not only a coward, I’m guilty.”

3) “Lust may last for a night, but this night may last for a Lifetime.”

4)” I look big because the mirror I look into is small.”

5) “I can see in him the ‘deadly presence of being’; but I am the illusionist that rules this world. Consciousness is cold and boring, but in the daydream you can be anything you imagine yourself to be. Come with me, I have the means to make the daydream appear real.”

6) Evolution is boundless, patriotism and ideologies are about borders. Everyone who builds walls, sooner or later will be conquered.

7) “President Kennedy in his inaugural speech, back in 1961, conveniently uttered the famous challenge, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.’ To this I have a rebuttal: I should not only ask myself what I can do for my country, but what my country can do for me as well. Responsibility must be shared, and commitment goes both ways. Unconditional allegiance is for serfs only! Dear friends, learn how to be free citizens of the world, not subjects of the state!”

 

 

Brexit, Rhexit and Patriotic Delusion.

 

We all know the term BREXIT and the British referendum in June 2016, to leave the European Union. If we want to predict what the outcome will be from BREXIT (Britain leaving the EU), however, we can discover in my novel Eugenia a distant parallel case: RHEXIT. By this I mean the Rhodesian Exit from the British Commonwealth. By the way, I just coined the term Rhexit while I was working on this article: The actual term was UDI: Unilateral Declaration of Independence. In 1965 a prosperous Southern African white colony broke away from Britain, when the British government forced the colonists to accept African majority rule. Unwilling to relinquish their colonial-era privileges and minority governance, they “claimed their country back from Britain” and went their own way, ignoring warnings from the world community. In reality, declaring “white independence” was the pretext for maintaining racial segregation and colonial rule over millions of disenfranchised natives. The UK and UN swiftly resorted to the toughest embargo ever imposed on a country. But populist politicians and unscrupulous corporate interests exploited the crisis, deceitfully leading Rhodesia—through propaganda, national security scaremongering, political extremism and the imposition of a militarized state—to an unnecessary war. In the process one of the richest countries in the continent became one of the greatest disasters of the twentieth century. Rhodesia’s little-known history should be a lesson for those who are oblivious to the winds of change, fall prey to populist demagogues, buy the myth of their racial or national exceptionalism, and are consumed by patriotic fanfare. A kidney cannot declare independence from the body and go on its own. Likewise, no country can be an “island.”

 

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

 

The writing itself is a reward. The process of research and interviewing different people is also rewarding. When traveling is required—down the Zambezi River, or through a Mozambican land-mined field or a slum in Harare, it is a life-changing experience. Writing with some jazz in the background, checking the clock across the wall and seeing it is 3 a.m. and keeping on typing is the ultimate involvement, the romanticized scene of the novelist. But it comes at a heavy cost.

 

What do you find most challenging about writing?

 

The editing, often tedious and boring, and the promotion, with the uncertainty of how the book will be welcomed, are excruciating challenges—enough to make someone wonder sometimes if it is worth writing in the first place. Trying to deal with day-to-day life necessities, economic adversities, family responsibilities and often disapproval, writing sometimes becomes an unbearable struggle. If we add that the author has to write in a language that is not his mother tongue, the uncertainty of the project’s outcome is often paralyzing, not to mention the rejections from literary agents and publishing houses. My usual response to all of the above challenges has been to watch motivational videos on YouTube to keep myself going.

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

 

It is difficult to provide any suggestions, since writing is such a solitary path and individual creative process.

 

What type of books do you enjoy reading?

 

Histories, Politics & Global Affairs have always been a passion of mine; I’m reading, since my teens Science, New Age and Buddhist spirituality. Lately, for reasons I don’t understand, I have developed an interest in gender studies and women’s issues. Strangely for a novelist, I don’t read much literature these days, unless if I find the topic captivating.

A few days ago I purchased Karl Ove Knausgaard’s (Norwegian: Knausgård) first volume.

 

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

 

The book is the mirror of its creator.  So, at this moment, Eugenia is the representation of the Author and his world.

 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

 

The website – www.EugeniaNovel.com – is the best way to connect with the author.

Also check www.EugeniaDestinyAndChoice.com, or www.EugeniaTheBook.com

 

Email: contact@georgeos.net

Facebook: Georgeos C. Awgerinøs

Twitter: GeorgeosC@Awgerinos

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeorgeosC@Awgerinos

 

Book Excerpt:

“Mr. Prime Minister, I urge you to reconsider your decision.”
The South African prime minister, a tall and imposing man with silver
hair and a wide smile, dismissed the warning of his national security advisor.
“Dr. Duplessis, our republic is under imminent threat from within. I
will never allow this country to be hijacked by a shadow government. In one
hour, I will reveal to the parliamentary caucus what has been going on behind
closed doors.”
“Never before has a public exposure of such marquee names come before
the legislative assembly. This unorthodox approach is unheard of in the history
of political affairs,” Dr. Duplessis commented, in his distinctive Wallonian
inflection. He was a long-skulled, pale-skinned man of average build, no taller
than five foot seven, with close-cropped gray hair, an icy stare, and robotic
mannerisms. He listened as the prime minister went on with his rant.
“South Africa didn’t gain its independence from the British crown in
order to subordinate itself to its military industrial complex. Apartheid was
meant to protect the racial order in this country, not to become a
self-destructive debt-spiral ploy.”
“Independence means the freedom to choose your own masters, Mr. Prime
Minister, and racial order is a costly agenda.”
“This is the South African Republic, not South Africa, Inc.”
“It is the South African Republic, Inc. All states are corporate
entities, monsieur, one way or another; this country is not an
exception. With all due respect, presidents, prime ministers, even absolute
rulers are the stage protagonists in the theater called politics; they are
neither the writers, nor the producers of the show. This is a friendly
reminder.”
The premier was aware that South Africa had become a “republic” because
of Dr. Duplessis’s gerrymandering and intricate offstage diplomacy. He owed his
prime ministerial chair to Dr. Duplessis’s byzantine machinations, but he would
not yield to his trusted policymaker’s insolent innuendo and skillful pressure.
When he spoke again, it was apparent that he had removed from his mind the last
shadows of hesitation. The tone of his voice was conclusive.
“Dr. Duplessis, alea jacta est-the die is cast. The security
operations units are on alert. The disarming of the Armée-Gendarmerie and the
arrests of the Concession’s board members will begin once I commence my
speech.”
“As you wish, monsieur.
The PM relaxed his tone with his advisor; he became genial as usual.
“On Thursday, I will turn sixty-five years young. I have a family
gathering at home. You will be there, Fabien, you promise?”
“Of course Hendrik, I will,” Dr. Duplessis responded.
The prime minister watched his advisor retreat. As he sat alone he
stared at the antique clock across from his oak-paneled desk. He checked once
more the printed page of his speech, which he had placed on the desk. Today he
would make an announcement signaling a shake-up in modern history, and in the
process he would settle some old scores. For a few seconds he visualized the
reaction of the caucus: a standing ovation for his daring initiative. Pleased
with this thought, he approached the window and watched the midday bustle of
Cape Town, his beloved city.
Nestled in the southwest corner of the African continent, overlooking
the Atlantic Ocean, with glistening coastlines and breathtaking views of Table
Mountain, Cape Town, the parliamentary capital of South Africa, is a thriving
metropolis with Dutch architecture, wide boulevards, colorful parks, and a
flourishing business district. The city’s rich history contains an intriguing
mix of European sophistication and Cape Malay exoticism that dates back to the
seventeenth century, blended with subtropical African beauty.
Picturesque and prosperous though it might have been, Cape Town was not
a paradise for all. The eye of the conscientious traveler in 1966 would
observe, from stores to parks to the sandy beaches, two signs, in Afrikaans and
English: “Slegs blankes/whites only” and “Slegs nie-blankes/non-whites only.”
Seven miles into the sea across the panoramic Table Bay was Robben
Island. It appeared a tiny idyllic islet, which one might have guessed was a
fisherman’s retreat; but such was not the case. Once a leper colony, Robben
Island was one of the most infamous penitentiaries on earth. And yet, it hosted
no penal convicts but instead, civil rights activists, some of them with
world-renowned names: Govan Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, Jacob Zuma.
Just ten miles to the east of the majestic capital there was another world that most Capetowneans did not know existed: a district for natives only, which no whites except the police could enter. There, the neighborhoods of Langa, Nyanga, and Guguletu resembled more a massive dumpster than a
sprawling suburbia. Newly
built project buildings that reminded one of
barracks sat beside wooden shacks with tin roofs. African women washed their
clothes in rusty bins with boiled water outside their slum dwellings. Their
children, most barefoot, played soccer with tin cans in dirt alleys with
numbers for names, such as NY1 or NY4, which stood for native yards, as the
city called these dusty, unpaved lanes.
It was 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, 1966, when the prime minister of
the South African Republic made his entry to the House of Assembly to deliver
his speech.
While he took the podium, a man with Mediterranean features dressed in a messenger’s uniform entered the building. He crossed unchecked through the heavily guarded lobby and approached the podium. Within seconds, the messenger pulled a dagger out of his jacket and stabbed the prime minister four times in the chest. Parliamentary members rushed to pin the assassin to the ground, while the PM’s blood gushed from the gaping wounds in his chest. An ambulance rushed him to the Groote Schuur Hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead on
arrival.
Later that day, television and radio stations around the world announced
the staggering news. From nations opposed to the apartheid regime came lead stories declaring: “Demetris Tsafendas, the son of a Greek immigrant and an African woman from Mozambique, assassinated Dr. Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, the prime architect of apartheid.” Conversely the local media stated: “A mentally
disturbed extremist assassinated the father of white South Africa, motivated by
hatred and rage.” The African underground press was jubilant: “Tsafendas
inyanga yezizwe
—Tsafendas, the healer of the nation!”
That evening witnessed an unusual commute in front of the ministerial
houses below the campus of the University of Cape Town. Cars carrying
government officials and parliamentary members came and went. It was after
midnight when the gates of a palatial mansion opened, and three stretch
limousines with black-tinted glass made their exit. The convoy moved slowly
down Belleview Road, encountering little traffic. Police patrols created a
strong presence that night. In the second car of the motorcade, two men sat in the back of the limousine. One was a
short, plump gentleman in his sixties. After looking nervously at the car
following them, he reached for the limo’s bar and took a bottle.
“Thirty-year-old Glenfiddich, Mr. Henderson? I know it’s your favorite,”
he said and poured some into a shot glass.
“I’ll have tobacco instead, Minister,” his companion replied with a
conspicuous English accent. He was a towering man
with broad shoulders, a wide face with a prominent jawline, and a thick
mustache. He resembled a nineteenth-century British colonial military officer.
Oddly, he wore a safari pith helmet, like a jungle explorer ready to hunt his
prey. He lit up and silently puffed on his cigar. He sat comfortably,
apparently enjoying his smoke. At one point, he too glanced back to face the
limo that was following.
The headlights illuminated his face, showing a
man in his late forties with harsh features and piercing dark eyes.
“What a night, Mr. Henderson.”
“It was a great night, Minister,” the big man with the pith replied,
puffing his fat Havana.
“Now that the obstacles have been removed, the door is open for the
government and the Southern African Development
Concession to sign the
agreement. The armaments production executive
board will be replaced, and within a week the shopping list will be on
your desk, Mr. Henderson.”
The Englishman stared outside the dark window, momentarily in thought.
“Minister, the signing of agreements is not enough. The Concession is
part of South Africa’s apparatus, and we need our territory secured. We cannot
intervene every time some careless bureaucrat in your administration oversteps
or defies our initial arrangements.”
“What do you have in mind, Mr. Henderson?”
“The Southern African Development Concession needs ironclad legislation
that secures our role in this country’s future. You did it with the Oppenheimer gold and diamond cartel; you will do it with us too.”
“That was the situation five decades ago, when this part of the world
was the Wild South. This is 1966.”
But the Englishman didn’t seem in the mood to brook refusals.
“Rhodesia and South Africa will always be the
Wild South.
Africa is made by monopolies
for monopolies; the Concession would have to refuse anything less. Without the
Southern African Development Concession, apartheid will fall swiftly like a shack in a gale. You know that as well as I, Minister.”
The driver continued moving on the barren road. His burly build and crew
cut made apparent his role as secret security rather than a mere chauffeur.
Henderson puffed his Havana contemplatively while he rolled past the closed
stores of Belleview Road. The South African minister of defence and national
security refilled his glass.
“Are you sure you don’t want some malt?”
“I never mix liquor and business; and this is business, Minister.”
“I’ll make the arrangements tomorrow morning. Be assured that from tonight
we enter a new period of friendly cooperation for both sides.”
Henderson seemed pleased with the minister’s conclusive reply. He looked
at his watch.
“It’s already one o’ clock. I need to be back in Rhodesia in two hours,
but I enjoy myself every time I am in the Cape, especially tonight.”
About the Author

 

Geórgeos Constantin Awgerinøs,
author of EUGENIA: DESTINY AND CHOICE was born and raised in
Athens Greece. He lives in New York City.