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Is the American Dream just a myth?


His brother called him a fool. Said he’d never make it. With those words etched in his brain, Kostas, a headstrong Greek merchant seaman, jumps ship in America in the 1960s, determined to prove his brother wrong.


Kostas is confident that with his skills and resourcefulness—plus a little bit of luck—he can get what he wants. But is it enough? Especially when he doesn't know who to trust. And as an illegal immigrant, people who “help” him take advantage of his status. He starts to wonder if the “good life” is just a myth, or if it’s just available to a chosen few. When the future looks bleak, the formidable Carmen, a Cuban refugee who plays it her way, extends a lifeline to his elusive American Dream. Can Kostas swallow his pride and let a woman call the shots?

Walking in the Light will give you unique insight into the immigrant experience and make you see undocumented immigrants in a whole new way.


"An immigrant narrative and vivid period piece, this book follows one man's odyssey as he struggles to redefine the meaning of home." ~Eleni N. Gage, author of North of Ithaka and Ladies of Managua, among others

"Readers will fall in love with Theodore Pitsios's Greek merchant seaman, Kostas Karaoglou. . . . Pitsios gives us all the feels, all the dreams, and even all the tastes and smells of the dishes he cooks up in the first year of his life in America."

~Susan Cushman, author of John and Mary Margaret, Friends of the Library, and Cherry Bomb

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In 1965, the prestige of America and the value of the American dollar are both riding high.

At a small seaside restaurant in Greece, where Kostas works, most of the clientele consists of merchant mariners, who spend their time talking about the exotic places they visited and the exotic women they’ve known, and retirees. Some are from America, where they get their pension in dollars and lord it over everyone else.

They convince Kostas that with his skills, he could make a fortune in America. But once he arrives, he sees it's a whole other world, in more ways than one.

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 Nikos Pilios hoped to be envied and looked upon with admiration, to be remembered and talked about by the generations that will follow.

After living in America for many years, he returns to the village where he grew up only to discover he lacked the important elements of success. 

Back in the States, he sets a his plan in motion to be that person. Every day brings a new danger, a new joy, and a new hope, but can he make his dream come true?


"Years ago, by sheer luck, I attended a reading by Mr. Pitsios in Mobile, Alabama. It was delightful, funny and wise and strange in the best way, and so I wasn't surprised when I heard about his first novel. And I'm glad to be among the first to report that this luminous tale surpasses my hopes. I congratulate him. And you, the reader, on the journey you are about to undertake."
 Tom Franklin, author of Poachers, Hell at the Breech & Smonk

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  • A portion of chapter 1 from Walking in the Light will be included in an anthology of Southern writers, scheduled for release in 2023 by Livingston Press

  • The short story, “Praying for Marigoula”, appears in the anthology, Christmas is a Season!: 2009 (Excalibur Press), edited by Linda Busby Parker

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