Eurydice Street ← Back

Eurydice Street
Eurydice Street
Eurydice Street

“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.”


Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens was published by Granta in hardback in 2004 and paperback in 2005.

It received widespread and excellent reviews and was selected as one of the New York Times “100 Notable Books” of 2005.

It has been translated into Greek, Dutch and Turkish.



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. Eurydice Street has been translated into Dutch, Greek and Turkish.



Financial Times
“Getting to know more about a relatively unsung capital is just one of several reasons to read “Eurydice Street”, Sofka Zinovieff’s captivating book about going to live in the city as the wife of a Greek official and mother of two rapidly Hellenising daughters….
It is infused with an indomitable joie de vivre. “


Daily Telegraph
“…An insightful account of a chaotic and exhilarating city, where the writer had personal as well as cultural obstacles to overcome. “


The Economist
“A witty and engaging account of life in Athens”


The Spectator
“In the summer of 2001 Sofka Zinovieff accompanied her husband on a posting back to Athens. This book is both an account of her enthusiastic, if often balked, attempts to transform herself into a Greek, and a vivid evocation of a city in a chaotic ferment of change. In its lively and often trenchant blend of personal recollection and a depiction of an Athens of rowdy tavernas, resourceful refugees, majestic prostitutes, innumerable theatre companies, ferocious demonstrations and age-old customs affectionately preserved, this is a thoroughly engaging memoir.”


“Athens forms the background of Sofka’s writing debut, Eurydice Street, full of insight and humour. It is subtle, penetrating and written with disarming clarity. Sofka Zinovieff deserves a place on the shelves up there with Lawrence Durrell and Patrick Leigh Fermor. “


Times Literary Supplement
“A guidebook of a kind, a guide to the Athens that is rather than the Athens that is trying to be. It is both a modest and a magnificently well-judged book, which anyone thinking of an Athenian trip ought to read. It is generous, appreciative as well as exasperated. “


Daily Mail
“The best way to understand the oddness of what it means to be Greek, the race which invented the concept of civilization, is to become Greek yourself.Sofka Zinovieff does just that. As an anthropologist, the author observes the process with an objective eye; as a wife and mother, it’s nothing less than total immersion.… Here is the inside track on what it means to be Greek; a lovely book, full of poetry, history and insights. “


The Economist
“Like a Jew becoming a Nazi, was ho her relatives saw it. How could a brainy, sensitive woman, exiled from her homeland by a monstrous totalitarian regime that hounded her class and murdered her friends and relatives, become an unflinching supporter of its creed? That is the puzzling life of the beautiful Sofka Dolgorouky… The story is told by her granddaughter, Sofka Zinovieff, who maintains an appropriate tone of slightly bemused sympathy with her captivating but repellent subject… Yet anyone reading about her sizzling charm, guts and literary gifts can’t help thinking it would have been fun to know her.”



New York Times
“In telling her story, she provides insights for anyone who might want to travel to the ancient city. (”There’s a definite knack to obtaining a taxi in Athens, which is something between catching a fish and public speaking to a restive crowd. You wave at any taxi, whether it has other passengers in it or not, and as it swerves over towards you, slowing down slightly, you shout out your destination. The taxi may be empty and ignore you, or it may be almost full and stop. ”



Good Book Guide
“An engaging profile of Europe’s most paradoxical capital – old as the hills, yet inventing itself anew. Zinovieff, polyglot and trained anthropologist, reveals her adopted home town with wit and perspicacity, from its hectic history to its domestic idiosyncrasies… In the end, this is a love story.”



Athens News
“It is in the best tradition of ‘subjective’ books where the subject is so sensitive, knowledgeable and talented that the result can only be a roaring success.”
Foreign Editions


Greece Holland Turkey
Η οδός Ευρυδίκης Onder de Akropolis Atina’ da Bir Kadin
Dioptra Mouria