Wings of Wax

A candid story that tackles identity, kinship, and love, full of good humor: sharp-witted relatives and smooth operators with worry beads.

Aspiring Illustrator Angelo Koutouvalis is known for his near-flawless sketches, yet he can’t seem to render the picture-perfect life he desires. At twenty-four, he lives at home with his loving yet overbearing mother and grandmother and struggles to meet women, all while relying on the often humorously ineffectual advice of his few friends and attempting to find a place for himself within the San Francisco Bay Area Greek community.

Angelo believes the secret to gaining fulfillment lies in traveling to Greece for a reunion with his estranged father, who can hopefully pass on the mysterious ways of the kamaki–the classic Mediterranean ladies’ man. But first, Angelo must find a way to overcome his crippling fear of flying.

A course of misadventures–chaotic employment at an exotic bird shop, a disaster of a date with a coworker, and a close encounter with a stripper–leads Angelo to Greece. During an excursion around the Peloponnesian peninsula, which takes him from the ancient theater of Epidavros to the majestic Lion Gates among the ruins of Mycenae, Angelo, emboldened by the ties to his ancestry, finally has it out with his father and learns the startling truth of the man behind the myth.

Rife with references to Greek-American culture and Oakland color, WINGS OF WAX evokes the work of Sherman Alexie and Junot Diaz in its tragically comedic scope of ethnic life and modern masculinity in America.
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