Panio Gianopoulos

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in The United States
July 05

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August 2011


Panio Gianopoulos is the author of the story collection, How to Get Into Our House and Where We Keep the Money and the novella, A Familiar Beast.

His stories, essays, and poetry have appeared in Tin House, Northwest Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Salon, The Rattling Wall, Chicago Quarterly Review, Big Fiction, The Brooklyn Rail, Catamaran Literary Reader, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Award for Non-Fiction, he has been included in the anthologies The Bastard on the Couch, Cooking and Stealing: The Tin House Non-Fiction Reader, and The Encyclopedia of Exes.

He lives in New York with his wife and three children and way too many pets.

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Panio Gianopoulos I've learned that when I get writer's block, it's almost always because I made a mistake somewhere. I'm hesitating and delaying because I know, intuit…moreI've learned that when I get writer's block, it's almost always because I made a mistake somewhere. I'm hesitating and delaying because I know, intuitively, that I screwed up: maybe I forced a moment in the narrative because I thought it was entertaining but it's untrue to the character. Or I dodged a conflict because it made me uncomfortable. Similarly, I might have skipped a difficult but important scene, assuring myself I was moving ahead "for pacing."

The only way for me to get over writer's block is to go back and locate the mistake. Then cut it out and start again from there. It's a matter of steeling myself to acknowledge my stumble, as well as accepting that I just wrote a lot of pages that are now unusable. But once I do, I feel much better. Even though it's easy to dread writer's block, it's a helpful signal that something needs fixing. In that sense, I'm grateful for it. (less)
Panio Gianopoulos The best part is when the writing is going well. Writing is a grind—slow and clumsy, full of false starts, missteps, and obstacles —but once in a whil…moreThe best part is when the writing is going well. Writing is a grind—slow and clumsy, full of false starts, missteps, and obstacles —but once in a while, suddenly everything gets out of your way and you take off, racing along the page. When that happens it feels like you’re driving a getaway car. Sure, you’ll probably get caught eventually, but for now you just go go go, as fast as you can, and don’t look back.

The worst part is that it’s never as clean or true or bright on the page as it is in my mind. Maybe poetry can achieve that pure, perfect state, but in my experience, stories, essays, and certainly novels, always feel to me like shadows of the version in my head. (less)
Average rating: 3.98 · 133 ratings · 18 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Familiar Beast

3.84 avg rating — 94 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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How to Get into Our House a...

4.31 avg rating — 39 ratings4 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Four Years Later

Four years ago—on March 13, 2016, to be exact—I started working on a new novel. Here are a few of the things I expected to happen:

a) The narrative would borrow heavily from events in my life, including the story of my parents, who came to America from Greece in the 1960s. 

b) The book would include tragic events, like brain trauma and suicide, and yet not be overwhelmingly grim or depressing, with

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Published on March 05, 2020 06:31

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Here We Are by Benjamin Taylor
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The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
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Get Out of My Head by Meredith Arthur
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Breath by James Nestor
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Humankind by Rutger Bregman
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The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
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The English Major by Jim Harrison
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Version Control by Dexter Palmer
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The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
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Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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More of Panio's books…
“That sounds great,” Marcus said, trying to marshal enthusiasm, leading with the expression of a desired sentiment and hoping that the sensation might obediently follow. It was a strategy that he had used for most of his life, and it had failed him innumerable times. He didn’t know what it was that tied him to it, what held him fast to this magical idea—even now, after all the pain it had caused recently—that a feeling could be pre- arranged, ordered in advance and then calmly anticipated. One day, surely, it would arrive, like a phone call from a long-absent lover, confiding I miss you, where are you, come home, please, come home.”
Panio Gianopoulos, A Familiar Beast

“For this decision, too, he had submitted to the overwhelming force of Sharon’s personality, whose longings and needs seemed inalienable rights, whereas Marcus’s were merely whims.”
Panio Gianopoulos, A Familiar Beast

“For me a page of good prose is where one hears the rain. A page of good prose is when one hears the noise of battle.... A page of good prose seems to me the most serious dialogue that well-informed and intelligent men and women carry on today in their endeavor to make sure that the fires of this planet burn peaceably.”
John Cheever

“The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong.”
Philip Roth, American Pastoral

“The only obsession everyone wants: 'love.' People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You're whole, and then you're cracked open. ”
Philip Roth, The Dying Animal
tags: love

“That sounds great,” Marcus said, trying to marshal enthusiasm, leading with the expression of a desired sentiment and hoping that the sensation might obediently follow. It was a strategy that he had used for most of his life, and it had failed him innumerable times. He didn’t know what it was that tied him to it, what held him fast to this magical idea—even now, after all the pain it had caused recently—that a feeling could be pre- arranged, ordered in advance and then calmly anticipated. One day, surely, it would arrive, like a phone call from a long-absent lover, confiding I miss you, where are you, come home, please, come home.”
Panio Gianopoulos, A Familiar Beast

“For this decision, too, he had submitted to the overwhelming force of Sharon’s personality, whose longings and needs seemed inalienable rights, whereas Marcus’s were merely whims.”
Panio Gianopoulos, A Familiar Beast




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