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Books about Greece: “Sea of Many Returns” & more

Ithaka and Odysseus’ journeys have inspired many writers. Arnold Zable’s new novel, “Sea of Many Returns,” charts more recent comings and goings from Ithaca, explores the sense of physical and emotional journeying, and continues the renowned author’s fascination with the migrant experience.  Xanthe is compelled to return to the birthplace of her father, Manoli, and her maternal grandfather, Mentor, prompted by family and literary associations. Xanthe is translating Mentor’s manuscript, an account of leaving Ithaca and his subsequent life in Australia. The book takes the reader to modern-day Ithaca, to its mountains, its villages and its harbours, and into the houses of its people.  Secretariat General of Information: Books – Living in Greece  

 Twice a Stranger : The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey

On July 24, 1923, the Peace Treaty of Lausanne was signed in Switzerland by Greece, Turkey and other countries that fought in WW1, setting out the boundaries of modern Greece and Turkey. One result of this was the large compulsory exchange, based on religion, of populations between the two countries.  As Bruce Clark, international security editor of the Economist, says in his book Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey,” it was “a massive, yet little-known landmark of modern history that made nearly two million citizens of Turkey or Greece move across the Aegean.” Using a variety of sources — interviews with some of the last surviving eyewitnesses, documents and accounts from the time, research by local historians in Greece and Turkey — Clark tells both the diplomatic and human stories of the exchange. Clark points out in his book that the exchange achieved its goals by creating clear boundaries and thus making it possible for the two countries to live side by side, while illustrating at the same time the human cost of the population exchange.     Secretariat General of Information: Books – Modern Greek History