Athens Insider Summer 2020

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Athens Riviera gets its own coffee table book

Editions Assouline's dreamy coffee table books often are as attractive as the destinations they cover. Its latest addition, the Athens Riviera coffee table book is a stunning photo album that retraces the history and spirit of Athens and its inhabitants. Discover a city that we have known for millennia, but whose contemporaneity is too of...

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Because I’m not yet cured of Happiness

Yannis Zervos is probably Athens' most colourful, entertaining story-teller, traversing continents and characters in his engaging prose. In Passage to Paradise, Hellenic Sketches of the Mind, so named for the delightfully appointed house and garden he grew up in, Zervos paints a vivid picture of life in post-war Greece and the incredibly ...

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Michael Ondaatje: Breaking the rules

Michael Ondaatje’s new novel, Warlight (shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Walter Scott Prize), opens with a scene where Nathaniel Williams is crouched over his desk, trying to pull together the threads of his fractured adolescence and declares, “As if I cannot see what is taking place in the dark beyond the movement of this pencil. T...

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The Darkly Familiar Greece of Leo Kanaris

John Carr reviews Leo Kanaris’ gripping potboilers with private eye George Zafiris. Both Codename Xenophon and Dangerous Days are spiked with Zafiris’ incisive descriptions of Athens and its resilient crisis- scarred people. Whether you opt for the beach or balcony to snuggle with these thrillers, before long, you’ll be rooting for the un...

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Impressions of Greece

Born during the Spanish Civil War, author Miriam Frank was five years old when she boarded the famous Serpia Pinto in 1941, unaware that she and her mother Kate were escaping the round-ups, separations and extermination camps of Nazi Germany. By the age of 12, Miriam had fled two wars and lived in three continents and now divides her time...

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Trouble in Paradise

Timothy Jay Smith’s Fire on the Island unveils the complex layers that guise the sun-drenched, bougainvillea-tinted Greek isle, blighted by declining tourism and the seemingly intractable refugee crisis. There are family feuds and a corrupt clergy. There is racism and homophobia. But there is romance, humour and mystery too! An engaging s...

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