Reading Greek literature or authors who have written novels on Greece can send you on an adventure, without having to worry about tickets, time or Covid-19. If you just cannot visit this summer, Greek Reporter has honed in on ten authors who make it easy to travel to Greece, and to live the adventure — without leaving your chair in the backyard.
There is a long list of authors who have embraced Greece over the centuries. The authors Greek Reporter has selected have not just written about the sun-kissed land of Apollo. A few have even changed careers and made Greece home. These writers have shared their experiences by offering perspectives of Hellenic culture, myth and passion in their stories –whether fictional crime mysteries, historical fables or memoirs of a life well lived.
The authors of novels on Greece can offer you an introduction, if you have never been there, rekindle a memory of a journey long past or refresh recent memories of a visit. Their books on Greece take you to the islands and the blue Aegean, the mountain villages of the mainland, the bustle of the Acropolis or the northern city of Thessaloniki.
The authors of these novels on Greece are listed in alphabetical order, by the author’s name.
Aurelia, who uses her first name only in her writing, spent almost four decades resourcing sponsorships and drafting proposals for organizations, companies and government services before she began writing novels on Greece for her own pleasure.
The Pennsylvania native said “As a writer I am a mythologist. I love and I am very attached to myths. Maybe that’s why I travel as a hiker to the ‘unwritten parts of Greece,’ as I like to say. These places are full of so many mysteries.”
Aurelia and her husband Jack travelled to Greece regularly every summer for a period of 20 years. After Jack’s death, she continued to return “home” to Greece for a few weeks every summer. She writes articles about Greece for a variety of publications.
“Labyrinthine Ways” by Aurelia
Labyrinthine Ways is a celebration of the mysteries, magic, myths, folklore, archaeology, distinctive cuisine, rugged landscape and courageous and indomitable people of Crete. The story unfolds in modern times with flash-backs to the days when Constantinople and then Venice, ruled Crete.
We learn of the fables and legends related to these times as they are recalled today, with vivid detail, by men in the kafeneía of mountain villages. Into these labyrinthine paths wander tender and vulnerable souls on journeys of self-discovery. Among them is a young wayfarer haunted by the mysterious Crete that dominated and tormented the life of Nikos Kazantzakis, Crete’s most famous novelist and the author of Zorba the Greek. Labyrinthine Ways is a novel that paints a portrait of the many magical and mysterious faces of Crete.
Sharon Blomfield is a writer and traveler who found herself somehow invited to tour an odd hobbit-like house in the South Seas, to drink wine in the kitchen of a sunburned chalet in a high Alpine pasture, and to be a guest at a Greek island wedding. Her stories and photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, among them The Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Boston Globe and France’s Courier International. She lives in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with her photographer husband and fellow traveler, Jim Blomfield.
The year 2006 brought the couple to Greece for the first time, to the island of Sifnos. It was meant to be a one-time visit but what Bloomfield hadn’t counted on was how the kindness of its people and the unexpected adventures she encountered there would melt her heart and how they were drawn back almost every year after that, always for a month at a time. Sifnos turned her into an author of novels on Greece and a blogger.
Sifnos Chronicles 2: More Greek Island Tales by Sharon Blomfield
A taverna … a monstrous platter of fish … then a second. We didn’t order these, don’t really like fish. But they’re a gift, the cook is watching and the giver is too. Life in a secluded Greek fishing village embraces two Canadian travelers, wraps them in its arms and overwhelms them with gifts. Friendship, laughter, cheeses, coffees galore. Those fish. Such encounters with the unexpected, the sometimes perplexing but always soul-affirming, are the kind of magic that rewards those who travel, not to see all the sights this world has to offer, but to slow down and savor. The kind of magic that, an ocean away, makes these Canadians feel they have come home.
Leah Fleming, who was born in Lancashire, England, to Scottish parents, is married with four grown up children and four grandchildren. She writes her novels on Greece full time from the slopes of an olive grove in Crete and from her haunted farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales.
Enid Blyton stories were her first page turners, particularly “The Secret Island.” During school, Shakespeare’s plays caught her imagination. Thomas Hardy’s novels and John Donne’s poetry gripped her with tragic stories and their sense of place. Fleming graduated from Leeds University in the swinging sixties and taught in Adult literacy classes and primary schools.
“A Wedding In the Olive Garden” by Leah Fleming
Sara Loveday flees home and crisis to the beautiful island of Santaniki. Here, amid olive groves and whitewashed stone villas, where dark cypress trees step down to a cobalt blue sea, Sara vows to change her life. Spotting a gap in the local tourist market, she sets up a wedding planning business, specializing in “second time around” couples.
For her first big wedding, she borrows the olive garden of a local artists’ retreat, but almost at once things begin to go wrong. To make matters worse, a stranger from Sara’s past arrives on the island, spreading vicious lies. Can her business survive? And what will happen with the gorgeous new man who she’s begun to love?
Rebecca Hall, a Rough Guide co-author Greece and The Greek Islands, has contributed to numerous publications. After extensive global travels, Hall left the UK to return to the country she fell in love with — Greece, where she teaches English, writes and wryly observes that the chaotic nature of her adopted country actually suits her personality very well.
All travel experiences and particularly living in versatile cultures, have helped to shape who she is today. Her novel on Greece has been adapted into a screenplay and in the near future it will come out onto the screen. When not writing, she’s drinking coffee with friends, or sourcing a new place to eat baklava.
“Girl Gone Greek” by Rebecca Hall
Rachel is finding it increasingly difficult to ignore her sister’s derision, society’s silent wagging finger and her father’s advancing years. She’s traveled the world, but now finds herself at a crossroads at an age where most people would stop globetrotting and settle.
She’s never been one to conform to the nine-to-five lifestyle, so why should she start now? Was it wrong to love the freedom and independence a single life provided, to put off the search for Mr. Right and the children? So with sunshine in mind, Rachel takes a TEFL course and heads to Greece after securing a job teaching English in a remote village.
She wasn’t looking for love, but she found it in the lifestyle and history of the country, its culture and the enduring volatility of its people. When Rachel moved to Greece to escape a life of social conformity, she found a country of unconventional characters and economic turmoil. The last thing she expected was to fall in love with the chaos that reigned about her.
Victoria Hislop’s first novel on Greece, “The Island,” held the number one slot in the Sunday Times paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks and has sold over two million copies worldwide. “The Island” became a television series in Greece, which achieved record ratings for Greek television.
Hislop studied English at Oxford, and worked in publishing, PR and as a journalist before becoming a novelist. She is married with two children. She was recently awarded honorary Greek citizenship because of her works of literature on Greece. She returned to Greece for her third novel, “The Thread,” taking as her backdrop the troubled history of the city of Thessaloniki in a story that spans almost a century, beginning with the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917.
“One August Night” by Victoria Hislop
August 25, 1957 — The island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony. And a moment of violence has devastating consequences. When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families splinter apart and, for the people of Plaka, the closure of Spinalonga is forever colored with tragedy. In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past.
This novel on Greece returns to the world and characters Hislop created in “The Island.” It is finally time to be reunited with Anna, Maria, Manolis and Andreas in the weeks leading up to the evacuation of the island… and beyond.
Marjory McGinn is a Scottish-born author and journalist brought up in Australia and now based in Cornwall, England. Her journalism has appeared in leading newspapers and magazines in the UK and Australia. In 2010, she moved to Greece with her husband Jim and famously crazy dog, Wallace, for an adventure in the wild Peloponnese. It lasted four years and became the basis for her three novels on Greece.
“How Greek Is Your Love?” by Marjory McGinn
This sequel to the novel “A Saint For The Summer,” is a page-turning mystery drama full of romance and humor. Expat Bronte McKnight is in the early days of her love affair with charismatic doctor Leonidas Papachristou. But as Bronte tries to live and love like a Greek, the economic crisis spawns an unlikely predator in the village.
While she begins to question her sunny existence in Greece, an old love from Leonidas’s past also makes a troubling appearance. Now working as a freelance journalist, when Bronte is offered an interview with a famous novelist, and part-time expat, it seems serendipitous. But the encounter becomes a puzzle that takes her deep into the wild Mani region of the southern Peloponnese, for which she enlists the help of her maverick father Angus, and the newest love of her life, Zeffy, the heroic rescue dog. The challenges Bronte faces bring dramatic as well as humorous outcomes as she tries to find a foothold in her Greek paradise. But can she succeed?
An American living on the Aegean Greek island of Mykonos, a native of Pittsburgh and former Wall Street lawyer Jeffrey Siger has created the character of Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis. He gave up his career as a named partner in his own New York City law firm after 9/11 to write mystery thrillers that tell more than just a fast-paced story.
Siger explores serious societal issues confronting modern day Greece in a tell-it-like-it-is style while touching upon the country’s ancient roots in his novels on Greece. The New York Times Book Review honored Siger’s work by designating him as Greece’s thriller novelist of record, and the Greek Government’s General Secretariat of Media and Communications has selected him as one of six authors — and the only American — writing mysteries that serve as a guide to Greece.
A Deadly Twist by Jeffrey Siger
When Athens journalist Nikoletta Elia disappears while on assignment on the island of Naxos, her editor calls on Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis to investigate. Sent to report on the conflict between preservationists and advocates for expanded tourism, Nikoletta is approached by a fan who takes credit for several suspicious deaths she’d reported on in the past.
The assassin claims to have abandoned that life, and convinces the reporter to write about him and his murderous exploits for hire. Kaldis sends his deputy, Yianni, to look into her disappearance when an unidentified body is found at the base of a cliff. Who is the mysterious corpse, and where is Nikoletta? Leads turn into more dead bodies in this twisting tale of greed, corruption, and murder that puts Kaldis, his family, and members of his team in the path of a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to keep dark secrets buried— forever.
Suzi Stembridge, who was born in Yorkshire, UK, founded and ran three businesses – Girl Friday, Filoxenia, a specialist Greek Tour operator, and Greco-file. She has spent the last ten years writing the series Jigsaw unashamedly with a Greek bias in her novels on Greece. The family saga is packed with adventure and there is a strong historical and travel theme to the books which span a 200 year period.
Her first venture into travel was as an air hostess in the early 1960s when with minimal training, she was placed in the only cabin crew on flights going to Greece. Suzi, who was educated in North Wales, is an Open University BA Honors graduate and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists. She is married with two adult children.
“No Ordinary Greek Odyssey” by Suzi Stembridge
A memoir illustrated with nearly 100 black and white photographs are part of “No Ordinary Greek Odyssey.” This work captures the beauty and history of Greece in the thirty years between 1960-1989. It records Greece as it was at the time, and as Stembridge experienced it. It offers some of the history, the culture and spirit of Greece. It continues when as a family the Stembridges travel around remote coastal villages and into the blue-green mountains or cross the sea on very basic Greek ferries, smelling the pale blue thyme permeating their Greek meanderings.
Marissa Tejada, a freelance writer, wrote “Chasing Athens” while she was living abroad in Europe. The year her novel on Greece was released, it ranked highly on several Amazon bestsellers lists. The romantic comedy was later recognized with a Five Star Readers’ Choice Review Award. She also founded one of the first travel sites focused on Greece, the award-winning blog called Travel Greece, Travel Europe.
“Chasing Athens” by Marissa Tejada
When Ava Martin’s new husband unexpectedly ditches her months after they’ve relocated across the world to Greece, the heartbroken American expat isn’t sure where home is anymore. On the verge of flying back to the States with her tail between her legs, she makes an abrupt decision to follow her gut instead and stay on in Greece.
She soon discovers that the tumultuous, culture-rich Mediterranean country is coloring her life in a way no place else can, changing her forever. But where is it that she belongs? Ava’s newfound independence throws her into the thick of Athenian reality, where she has brushes with violent police riots and gets a taste of both the alluring islands and the city nightlife.
Sofka Zinovieff was born in London, with a White Russian legacy, and close relations who left Soviet Russia for the UK shortly after the October Revolution. She grew up in Putney in southwest London.
She studied social anthropology at Cambridge University. Later she earned a PhD after living and carrying out research in the Peloponnese. Zinovieff has worked as a journalist and book reviewer for various British publications. She has written several books, from memoirs and biographies to novels on Greece. Zinovieff has lived and worked in Russia and Italy, and has spent many years in Greece. She and her Greek husband Vassilis Papadimitriou live between Athens and London. They have two daughters.
“Euridice Street: A Place In Athens” by Sofka Zinofieff
“We gazed transfixed across the small, strangely tropical bay at the bottom of the hill, and the surrounding palm trees and sandy beaches. Beyond the bay was the wide expanse of the Saronic Gulf, with its distant traffic of boats leaving for the islands and returning to the port at Piraeus.”
This was Sofka Zinovieff’s first sight of the view from Eurydice Street. It was so irresistible that she and her husband immediately knew that they would make their home there. The author had fallen in love with Greece as a student, but little suspected that years later she would return for good with an expatriate Greek husband and two young daughters.
This book is a wonderfully fresh, funny, and inquiring account of her first year as an Athenian. The whole family have to get to grips with their new life and identities: the children start school and tackle a new language, and Sofka’s husband, Vassilis, comes home after half a lifetime away.
Meanwhile, Sofka resolves to get to know her new city and become a Greek citizen, which turns out to be a process of Byzantine complexity. As the months go by, the author discovers how memories of Athens’ past haunt its present in its music, poetry, and history. She also learns about the difficult art of catching a taxi, the importance of smoking, the unimportance of time-keeping, and how to get your Christmas piglet cooked at the baker’s.