The HSW Literary Agency



Teri Vlassopoulos
Twitter: @terki

Teri Vlassopoulos is the author of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award- and ReLit Award-nominated Bats or Swallows (Invisible Publishing 2010). Her fiction has appeared in Room Magazine, carte blanche, and Kiss Machine, and has been shortlisted twice for THIS Magazine’s Great Canadian Literary Hunt. Her non-fiction is featured in the anthologies The Art of Trespassing (Invisible Publishing 2010) and She’s Shameless: Women write about growing up, rocking out and fighting back (Tightrope Books 2009). She also wrote, photocopied, stapled and sometimes sewed the zines melt the snow and The Second Part. Escape Plans is Teri’s first novel.

Work on Offer:

Escape Plans

The mythological Graeae, a trio of sea nymphs, shared a single eye and tooth, yet each sister extracted different views of the world around them. Escape Plans follows the Kiriakos family—Niko, Anna, and daughter Zoe—as each grapples with questions about marriage, solitude, and family in the wake of a unifying tragedy: Niko’s death.

At the age of 52, Niko realizes that he would like to work for the shipping company his grandfather founded over a century ago in his homeland of Greece. Despite his minimal experience with the shipping industry and his comfortable life in Toronto, he is determined to make his mark on what was once a thriving family business.

His wife, Anna, is less sympathetic to the plan. Unwilling to uproot, Anna stays behind in Toronto with Zoe. Niko considers his move an extended business trip, but Anna is unsure of what to make of it. Niko and Anna never get the chance to formalize the status of their relationship. A few months after Niko leaves, he drowns in a sailing accident.

Escape Plans is a novel about the silence that exists amongst those closest to you, the information that is withheld, and the explanations left unspoken. Anna, Niko, and Zoe struggle with how much to tell one another, but what ultimately emerges is how much they can intuit about the essence of each other’s feelings. The bond that exists in this small family is strong, whether or not they realize it themselves.

Manuscript available
Rights: World 

Praise for Bats or Swallows by Teri Vlassopoulos:

“Vlassopoulos’s voice carries a sweet, palpable honesty, peppering the story with lines that tickle the heart.... Vlassopoulos has found a way to carry over the wide-eyed curiosity and innate goodness of childhood into the mysterious, often sad, often tragic world of adulthood. The confidence in the voice, the originality of style and the achingly beautiful images are evidence of greatness to come from this engaging young writer.”

-- Montreal Review of Books

Bats or Swallows is that rare thing: a collection of short stories woven together not by location or ties between characters, but by a repetition of tone, a pattern in structure—a certain kind of noticing. What does Vlassopoulos notice? Small, pivotal moments of intimacy that the narrator dwells on just long enough for it to be unsettling, turn the story ever so slightly sideways....These stories crept on me with their careful attention to passing thoughts and identity fumbles. Stories intended to linger and unnerve.”

-- subTerrain

 “There’s a mesmeric quality to Vlassopoulos’s storytelling. Her writing is warm, uncomplicated, and beguilingly intimate.”

-- The Rover

“...there are no frivolous, overwrought details; Vlassopoulos favours sharp, simple story construction. She also has an acute sense of timing....Each one of the eleven stories in Bats or Swallows is a little dioramic gem.”

-- Atlantic Books Today

 “Vlassopoulos delivers clean, clear prose and a narrative voice that suggests a close friend sharing her secrets. In spite of the conversational tone, however, the subject matter can sometimes veer into unexpected and challenging directions.... Bats or Swallows is an enjoyable read and promising first effort from a writer with a knack for crafting characters with whom I felt instantly comfortable and curious.”

-- The Women’s Post