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English PhD student Tita Kyrtsakas publishes debut novel

English PhD student Tita Kyrtsakas publishes debut novel

Headshot of Tita Kyrtsakas
Tita M. Kyrtsakas

A fourth-year PhD candidate studying English Literature in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) has published her debut novel he called me kid on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Tita Kyrtsakas wrote the novel when she was 23. The story revolves around Clementine, an aspiring writer in her final year of high school who meets Turner, a film student who is almost through university. The two have an immediate connection, sparked by their mutual passion for literature and quick-witted banter. Although Turner lives on the west coast, Clementine finds herself falling into a love she desperately wants to keep. This story reminds us of what it is like to love with abandon, wherever that may lead.

For Kyrtsakas, writing the novel helped her understand the complexity of care in the digital world.

Book cover of he called me kid

“I had learned through multiple experiences in my life what it was like to deeply care for people who lived a long way away from me. You can't drop in unannounced with a bowl of soup if they're feeling sick, you can't catch a last-minute show at a local theatre. The ache in the absence of the physical body of that person is real. Sharing material space is impossible.

But what is beautiful in these situations is that the emotional connection is still there. It's there in the Facetimes and the constant stream of messaging, sending photos and links. Love, I found, grows in a different way,” she said.

Kyrtsakas has been writing different types of works for years but has found the young adult literature genre particularly interesting.

“I love reading about teenage protagonists and so that’s what materialized: a story about a young woman just finishing high school, trying to figure out who she is and how she creates. After years of encouragement from friends and family, it was finally time the story saw the light of day. he called me kid touches on themes of love, friendship, family, heartbreak, and the growing artist.”

The novel is available for purchase on Amazon.