Athens Insider Summer 2022

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Books

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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Jeff Siger: Master of Mayhem

Crime novelist Jeff Siger – whose 'trouble in paradise' murder mysteries get under the seamy underbellies of whitewashed Greek isles, presents his 10th book in the Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, Island of Secrets, set in his beloved Mykonos. Congratulations! “The Mykonos Mob”—now available in paperback as “Island of Secr...

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Why you should read Polly Samson’s book on Hydra, A Theatre for Dreamers

A brilliant read, full of humour and spontaneity, Polly Samson’s skilled writing offers a fascinating, often voyeuristic account of the sexual jealousy, alcoholism, and bohemian lifestyle that pervaded the creative set in 1960’s Hydra. Recounted through Erica, the daughter of Australia’s tragic literary couple, writers George Johnston and...

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Athenian Life in Lockdown

Best-selling writer Sofka Zinovieff on how she believes the pandemic will change us. Suddenly, pressing issues become irrelevant, petty problems like colouring one's hair get top billing! Time has stretched and contracted during the developing crisis with coronavirus. It is hard to believe that it was only three weeks ago that...

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47th Book Festival in Zappeion

WHAT: Book lovers, unite! In occasion of Athens’ christening as the World Book Capital of 2018, the Association of Book Publishers announces the 47th Book Festival in Zappeion. This year, the festival honors sung poetry, a wide, popularly European genre that combines literature and music. The two-week-long program includes screenings, lectures, con...

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