Greek Europe Reporter
By Areti Kotseli on April 17, 2012
Every night starting April 16, millions of listeners of BBC-Radio 4 across the world will be listening to a Greek novel. Two actors will be reading abstracts from Sofka Zinovieff’s novel “The House on Paradise Street” for 15 minutes every night for two weeks.
The novel, which was published in England in early March, explores the long and tragic legacy of the Greek Civil War through a gripping story set in contemporary Athens. When Maud’s Greek husband Nikitas dies in a mysterious car crash, Maud becomes curious about his family’s troubled past. His mother, Antigone now lives in Moscow, estranged from the family for nearly sixty years after abandoning her young son. Antigone has never been back to Greece, but now Maud needs to let her exiled mother-in-law know that her son is dead.
The historical background covers a long period, from December 1944 and the Civil War until December 2008 when big riots smashed much of Athens.
“The House on Paradise Street” has received excellent reviews in the English press. The novel was chosen among hundreds of other books. Sales have increased significantly since BBC’s announcement for the coming presentation. In Greece, it’s been well received since its release.
The Economist commented on the book, saying “this novel offers compelling insight into the pathologies that Greeks still bring to their relations with outsiders.” Similar things have been said by The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Spectator, and Daily Mail.
The British press seems to be attracted to the impressive novel, as there are many hints regarding the British secret intervention in the Greek Civil War, a part of history that remains rather unknown to the people of Great Britain.
Sofka Zinovieff (www.sofkazinovieff.com) is British with Russian origins. She’s lived in Greece since 2001 and is a Greek citizen.
Check out the link to listen to the BBC Show: Book at Bedtime – http://www.bbc.co.uk