An intriguing and heartbreaking début, this novel covers six decades of personal and political upheaval in twentieth-century Argentina.
For years, the best that young girls from the backwater village of Alta Gracia could
hope for was a position in the Big House, home of the immensely powerful and
politically influential Goyena family. So, when Señorita Delia Lugghi — enigmatic
teacher and devout Perónist — arrives from Buenos Aires to found a state school in
the village, the future of Milagros Riquelme suddenly seems to be full of possibilities.
But change rarely does come easily. Inspired by true events, this story charts a life
of tragedy, love, and missed opportunity, as Milagros goes from girlhood to old age.
all the while being forced to navigate the violent landscape of Argentina in the mid-
“Kolovou has written a novel full of grace, humour and loss. In THE STONE MAIDENS the political is personal, the personal is historic, and the storytelling moves with ease…a beautiful book.” —Elizabeth Reeder
“Starting quietly as a coming of age tale in rural Patagonia, over six decades STONE MAIDENS builds towards shocking events in Argentina’s Dirty War. It is a mastery of spare — yet sweeping — storytelling. This will remain with you.” —Anne Pettigrew
Carrie Callaghan @ Historical Novel Society
Ioulia Kolovou is a new Scot, living on a hill in a dear green place. She studied History and Classics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Linguistics at the University of Buenos Aires, completed an MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in English Literature: Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. She has worked as a teacher, translator, and conference interpreter in three countries and two continents. If she had a superpower, she would have liked it to be a thorough knowledge of every language and dialect in the world, historical or contemporary. So far, she has only managed English, Greek, Spanish, and French. She was short-listed for the Conrad-Nabokov Prize in its year of inception, 2009, under the penname J K Mabin. Writing fiction (and nonfiction) has been her strongest and longest passion from a very young age. She has published literary and academic works in English and Spanish. With typical timing, her first book, a historical biography of the medieval Greek author and princess Anna Komnene, came out in the Spring 2020.