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Literature

7 Books by Greeks or about Greece to Curl Up with this Winter

November 15, 2021

Not every book about Greece or by a Greek needs to be written on scrolls. Nor does it need to be a travel guide.

When you want to learn about Greece in a more enchanting and engaging way – whether it be through Greek characters, myths or historical events – we recommend you check out the books below. There’s something for everyone: fiction readers, history buffs, and everyone in-between.

  1. Scorpionfish by Natalie Bakopoulos Novel
    • Scorpionfish draws the reader in with strong characters and vivid descriptions of contemporary Athens in this captivating novel. Among Bakopoulos’ characters are expatriates, exiles, immigrants, and refugees in this moving story that seems so personal and yet so universal.
  2. The Silence of the Girls by Pat BarkerNovel
    • The Silence of the Girls is a powerful and moving novel that reimagines The Iliad from the point of view of Briseis, a queen captured by the Greeks in the Trojan War, condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles who butchered her family. Life in the Greek camp for the women taken as slaves is highlighted against the backdrop of the drama of the war so familiar to those of us who have read Homer’s Iliad and the many Greek tragedies that depict the aftermath. All the characters, but especially the women, take on a depth in the novel that is only hinted at in the epic poem.
  3. Love Songs for Skeptics by Christina PishirisNovel
    • Love Songs for Skeptics: A Romantic Comedy is a delightful debut novel which manages to enchant and entertain the reader while balancing between two extremes: offering a wonderful way to experience a world unfamiliar to us, through the eyes of characters who can be as different from us personally as you could possibly imagine; and, creating characters that resemble our own experiences to such a degree that it is almost jarring.
  4. The Maidens by Alex MichaelidesNovel
    • Ancient myths have been a source of inspiration for millennia. The Maidens blends Greek mythology, murder, and obsession in a taut psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the very first page.
  5. A Recipe for Daphne by Nektaria AnastasiadouNovel
    • The Greek community of Constantinople is highlighted in the charming debut novel of Nektaria Anastasiadou. The book features vivid characters and evocative descriptions woven together in a romantic drama that touches on the painful history that has indelibly shaped the lives of the Polites, the Greeks of Constantinople.
  6. Talking until Nightfall: Remembering Jewish Salonica 1941-44 by Isaac MatarassoNon-Fiction
    • The Jewish community of Thessaloniki (Salonica) thrived for centuries until the horrific events of World War II, the Nazi occupation, and the subsequent transportation of 46,000 people to the concentration camps decimated the community. Only 2,000 survivors returned to the city. The harrowing events are recounted in Talking until Nightfall by Isaac Matarasso, a doctor who witnessed the oppression and recorded it stages as well as eyewitness accounts of those who returned to the city from the concentration camps.
  7. The Cheating Cell: How Evolution Helps Us Understand and Treat Cancer by Athena Aktipis Non-Fiction
    • The Cheating Cell explores this serious topic and offers insights and hope for the future. As noted in the book’s description, when we think of the forces driving cancer, we don’t necessarily think of evolution. But evolution and cancer are closely linked because the historical processes that created life also created cancer.

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