Literary Category: contemporary fiction
Synopsis: On the day Arys turns eighteen, a large green envelope arrives from Athens. It contains a handwritten letter, filled with drawings and diagrams, that has been sent to her by her aunt. The letter’s tone in some ways feels like a farewell, and in its opening lines her aunt recalls some of her most treasured memories of Arys, including conversations and travels inspired by their shared passion for Greek mythology.
Arys’s aunt reveals that over the course of her life she has faced many illnesses and, more importantly, a few pandemics like the one that has recently paralyzed the entire world. In fact, it’s the outbreak of covid-19 that has prompted her to write to her niece. She feels an urgency to do so because Arys represents the future...a future that finds itself sorely threatened.
In turning to ancient myths and stories from Classical Greece, this epistolary novel explores various ways of approaching the meaning of life, as well as that of death. These two energies are mutually dependent upon each other, just as light relies on darkness to manifest itself in all its splendor. Arys’s aunt invites her niece to reflect upon the origin of plagues, pandemics, viruses, sickness – by situating them in a place we seldom explore.
Pandora's Message is an inspiring text that utilizes simple direct language, akin to that of a fable, to transmit a fundamental, even lyrical, understanding of the fact that the Earth and its evolution are intrinsically related to what happens in the rest of the Universe. And that only from such a point of view will we manage to face the challenges that life presents us. If the letter is read in the heat of the covid-19 pandemic, it will help us to face the "monster," the Pestilence, in a different manner, more openly and optimistically.