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Culture

Seven Greek Women Authors

Greek women are known throughout the world for their fiery spirit and resolve. With March declared National Women’s History Month in the United States, let’s take a look at some of the Greek women who have shaped literature throughout the ages.

SAPPHO

Born on the island of Lesbos around 630 to 612 BCE, Sappho remains one of the most influential poets throughout the world. Much of Sappho’s poetry has been lost, but her reputation as a lyric poet was so esteemed during antiquity that the Library of Alexandria collected the fragments into nine books of poetry. Organized by meter, the poems are known for their melodic quality, use of dialogue, and amorous content.

ANNA KOMNENE

Born in Constantinople in 1083, the Byzantine princess Komnene was the only female Greek historiographer of her time. Literary critics have frequently commented on how, unlike traditional historians, she included herself and made candid her feelings in Alexiad, her book about the First Crusade. The author continues to captivate culture, appearing in a novel by Sir Walter Scott and in a video game.

MARIA LAINA

Born in Patras in 1947, Laina is associated with the Genia tou 70, the generation of authors publishing during the transitional time of the Metapolitesfsi. In 1993 she won the State Prize for Poetry for Rodinos Phobos (Rose Fears) and is also a winner of the Cavafy prize. With seven poetry books to her credit, she has been widely translated in English, French, and Spanish.

MARO DOUKA

Born in Chania in 1947, Douka is associated with the Genia tou 70 and is one of the founders of the Hellenic Authors’ Society. She is the recipient of the Nikos Kazantzakis Prize, the Cavafy Prize, the Kostas and Eleni Ouranis Prize of the Academy of Athens, the Balkanika Prize for Literature, and the N. Themelis Prize. She is perhaps best known for Fool’s Gold, published in 1979 and since translated into several languages.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON

Born in Athens in 1950 to a journalist father—Konstantinos Stassinopoulos—Huffington is one of the most recognizable names in journalism today. She published her first book, The Female Woman, in 1973, and went on to write several biographies and political works. She is, of course, best known for cofounding the blog The Huffington Post in 2005.

APHRODITE JONES

Born in Chicago in 1959, Jones is an award-winning reporter and crime novelist. Her book All She Wanted was made into the Academy Award-winning film Boys Don’t Cry. As well, her book A Perfect Husband was made into the Lifetime movie The Staircase Murders, and her The FBI Killer was made into the ABC movie Betrayed by Love.

TINA FEY

Born in Pennsylvania in 1970, Fey is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, for which she was head writer. She also wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls and is the author of the autobiography Bossypants, which held onto The New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks. Among her many awards are four Writers Guild of American Awards. She is also the youngest-ever recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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