Zelopolis: A Novel

Soon available in USA, UK and on Kindle.

Sometimes the truth matters.

A suicide…a terrible accident…or is it murder? What’s indisputable is that there’s a body on the beach and the village philosopher is dead.

Kally travels to Zelopolis village in Greece to attend the funeral, her father’s. She’s smart and strong, but carries a sadness beyond her years. Ari is a recluse with a secret obsession. He’s been writing all about the life and times of Akyndinos, the village philosopher, and now he wants to share the story with Kally. He sends her a chapter every week, but Kally doesn’t want to know a thing about her father’s life. Or, for that matter, his death. And she doesn’t want to know about his crazy plan to make Zelopolis, and Greece, great again.

Finally, she starts reading…

Zelopolis is a brilliant tale about high ideals and low obsessions, truths and secrets, fathers and daughters, and what happens when our beliefs become dangerous.


First published in Australia as Palimpsest: A Novel by Australian Scholarly Publishing (Arcadia Imprint) in April, 2010 (ISBN: 9781921509681) and launched at Gleebooks in Sydney and at the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne.


Click image to purchase in Australia.

Or, find it at an Australian library near you.

Praise for Palimpsest

Here’s another Greek-Australian name to add to the list that has contributed a richer, deeper, darker strain to Australian writing over the past half-century. Kerryn Goldsworthy in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The narration is colourful, reflective and strewn with deft touches of comedy and irony … assured and knowledgeable. Tom Petsinis

Palimpsest is proudly postmodern. Extolling and proclaiming its self-conscious intertextuality….Philosophical fiction is art that can transform lives. Koromilas is a thoughtful writer… Susan Gorgioski in the Australian Book Review.

Book Launch: My Talk


Greek light. The ancients likened the light of day to Being. Light gave life. Darkness took it away. I could never have understood this had I not arrived in my father’s village and sat under its sun. In Zelopolis the sun was no metaphor, it was real. It forced clarity upon the landscape, making its topographic idiosyncrasies completely seeable; exposing everything as far as the eye could see, even beyond the eye. Forced knowledge that only the mind could comprehend, that only the spirit could intuit.

My first encounter with Greek light, however, was merely theoretical. It came through the world of books in my father’s artificially lit library back in Coober Pedy. It was there in the dim, dry ambience of that room that I first read the poets and the philosophers. It was there that I came to understand that the sun generated the best conditions under which a person may discern objects and scrutinise truths. It was there that I played out the drama of light and of darkness, the drama that determined, for the poet Elytis, what it was to be Greek. I followed the Homeric myths underground – down the dark and dank stairways – curious about the underworld, but always, reluctantly, coming back up. Greeks were supposed to be children of the light, and would always choose light over darkness, sight over blindness, reason over confusion, life over death.

Continue reading…


An email chat with Angelike Contis, filmmaker and journalist.

Angelike Contis: Can you talk about the challenges of creating your book’s heroine, Kally? It’s no easy feat – as when the book starts I felt she was numb/dead/in mourning & she gradually came awake – but is never really an active heroic, more a philosopher. Was that hard?

Kathryn Koromilas: I was really interested in what a disinterested protagonist would be like. Kally has lost a daughter, left her husband (also a philosopher, who philosophised through the grief of losing his own daughter – the reason why Kally became estranged from him) and Kally also left philosophy. She doesn’t care about a thing. She’s lost her ability to do philosophy, lost her faith in the value of it. Epicurus had once said that a philosophy that cannot heal the soul or mind is no better than medicine that cannot cure the body. Philosophy could not cure Kally’s grief and so she rejects it. (In the end, she does return to it).

So, given this type of person, how would she be as a protagonist? Clearly she would be silent, she would ignore parts of the story that another protagonist might pick up on and offer in dramatic fashion to an eager reader. She would ignore the prompts in a story that could turn things spectacular. And Kally does this, that is, she ignores what is going on in the story.

Continue reading…

I'll let you know when Zelopolis is available.

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