The Agora > Greek History & Culture

Books about Greece

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#6 Maik. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 14:36

Sure, pin it if you (or Tony, or Rog, or Phil) want to. Think there's a previous post or two that could be merged into the same thread.

#7 Jolly Roger. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 17:29

Excellent idea Tony to include this topic and yes, it should be pinned so that it can be added to easily from time to time.

Eleni, I can thoroughly recommend, although be warned that it will change your outlook on Life! There is also a film version of the book, which is better than most films that have followed on from books.

Here are a couple of books by local authors.

The Promised Journey (Pontus to Kefalonia) by Sophia Kappatos. Sophia from Tara Beach in Skala has written an account of the story of her father during and since the troubled times of the exile of Greeks from Turkey.

Nagis - Growing up in Kefalonia 1940-1950 by Panagis Spiliotis. A local lad from Ratzakli describes his early life growing up during WW2 and the Civil War that followed. This book is available from Aeolis Hotel, Skala.

#8 TonyKath. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 21:05

Wow guys! I did not expect such a rich crop of replies. I'll take a day or two to digest them and the books should fill some retirement days over the winter. I also thought of Maik's excellent recommendation about village life after the civil war, which I read a couple of years ago.

--- Quote ---Maik, on 06-11-2010 @ 02:50, said:

--- Quote ---As a boy in 1940s Greece, my friend Costas, now a retired banker, had a pistol shoved in his face by a communist guerrilla screaming that he wanted to requisition the family mule. Knowing that the animal meant his family's survival in desperate times, Costas refused. He might have been shot then and there if the guerrilla had not been restrained by more compassionate comrades. Many years later, attending his nephew's wedding in Athens, Costas was stunned to recognize the best man. It was the very fellow who had nearly killed him over a mule.

Such stories are common in Greece, where a merciless occupation by Germans and Italians during World War II, violence between left and right, and foreign meddling during the civil war (roughly 1945-49) and the Junta years (1967-74) left Greeks living cheek by jowl with people they could never forgive.

Kevin Andrews experienced the dangers of the countryside during the civil war. "The Flight of Ikaros," the book he produced from his travels, remains not only one of the greatest we have about postwar Greece—memorializing a village culture that has almost vanished—but also one of the most moving accounts I have ever read of people caught up in political turmoil. (It is richer than George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" because Andrews spent more time getting to know the people he wrote about.) "Flight" was first published in 1959 and last reprinted by Penguin in 1984. For too many years, this rare account has languished out of print.
--- End quote ---
--- End quote ---


The Flight of Ikaros: Travels in Greece During the Civil War

#9 colleywobble. Posted 13-09-2012 @ 14:55

North of Ithaca by Eleni Gage is a follow up to Eleni by Nicholas Gage and tells the story of Elenis return to her family's old house and how she starts to make it habitable again and a home for herself. Also Louis de Bernieres book Birds Without Wings tells the story of the migration of the Greeks and Turks after the collapse of the Otterman Empire,the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks. Two books by Victoria Hislop The Thread about Thesaloniki and again the time of the migration, and The Island, about the island of Spinalonga and its lepper colony. Both i can recommend. A great thread and look forward to everyones recommendations for the long winter months.

#10 Paul Dillon. Posted 13-09-2012 @ 23:39


Maik suggested I mention my Kefalonia novel, The Magic In The Receiver. It's been out for a couple of months and starting to get some traction in the Amazon bestseller list for "Books about Greece." There's a review in The Greek Star Summer Book Review 2012.

I'd love to get some feedback.



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