Why I Killed My Best Friend (Greece)

Book #11

Why I Killed My Best Friend by Amanda Michalopoulou, translated by Karen Emmerich

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The title of this book had me anticipating a terrible and traumatic scene between two best friends. Instead, as I approached the final pages, I realized it was a book full of terrible and traumatic experiences between two best friends.

Maria and Anna meet when they are young and their stories ping pong between Africa, Greece, Paris, and the United States. All throughout are bits and pieces related to the development of Greece and the impact its economic goals have on the general population. The country’s changes affect Maria in Anna in numerous ways and throw their friendship into a tailspin over the course of their lives. It ultimately becomes the source of a best friend’s death.

Like so many of the books I’ve already read for this project, themes of loneliness, desire, and sadness permeate Maria and Anna’s stories.

Greece proved to be a challenging country to find a translated female author and I felt lucky to find Michalopoulou. She packs a lot into 250 pages - exploring crisis in Greece, issues in friendship, and uncertainty in how life unfolds.

I owe a lot to Greece. My first international work trip took me to Athens and I paired that with a trip to Santorini. Sitting along the caldera looking out into the sea, I decided that I wanted my life to unfold differently. It was less than a year later that I quit my job and took off to travel the world. It’s high time I make a trip back to where it all started.