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The highly successful author who divides her time between England and Greece discusses her latest novel with Petworth Festival Artistic Director, Stewart Collins.
The story? Week after week, postcards arrive, addressed to a name Ellie does not know, with no return address, each signed with an initial: ‘A’. With their bright skies, blue seas and alluring images of Greece, these cartes postalise brighten Ellie’s life. After six months, to her disappointment, they cease. But the montage she has created on the wall of her at has cast a spell. She must see this country for herself.
On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A’s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture but also of a desire to live life to the full once more.
Victoria Hislop’s Cartes Postales from Greece is fiction illustrated with photographs that make this journey around Greece linger forever in the mind.
Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller and a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, and in the number one bestseller The Return she wrote about the painful secrets of its civil war. In The Thread, Victoria returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki and its people across the 20th century. Shortlisted for a British Book Award, it confirmed her reputation as an inspirational storyteller. It was followed by her much-admired Greece-set collection, The Last Dance and Other Stories. Her fourth novel, The Sunrise, was published to widespread acclaim, and was a Sunday Times number one bestseller.