Like Wescott's extraordinary novella The Pilgrim Hawk (which Susan Sontag described in The New Yorker as belonging "among the treasures of 20th-century American literature"), Apartment in Athens concerns an unusual triangular relationship. In this story about a Greek couple in Nazi-occupied Athens who must share their living quarters with a German officer, Wescott stages an intense and unsettling drama of accommodation and rejection, resistance and compulsion--an account of political oppression and spiritual struggle that is also a parable about the costs of closeted identity.
'Apartment in Athens' is an interesting piece, following the life for a year of a family in Athens whose home is taken over by a German officer during the second world war. Their routines are shattered, they suffer the depravities of subservience, and in the end they are punished though they are innocent. The characters, and indeed the plot, work well as metaphors for the war and the warring nations, but one has to wonder if there is enough here for a novel. A novella, or a piece in a collection of short stories, might have been more suitable; as it is, there is not enough plot here to carry the book all the way.