More than travel writing, this is a story of finding home.



A wife and mother chronicles her move from England to Greece.

The author, whose Russian father met her mother on holiday in Greece, grew up in England and married a Greek man. They spent most of their marriage in the U.K. and Russia, but in the summer of 2001 moved with their two daughters to a suburb of Athens. In her debut memoir, which recalls Patricia Storace’s Dinner with Persephone (1996), Zinovieff recounts her family’s first year in Greece. An anthropologist by training, she brings a keen eye for detail to her lovely prose, e.g., a new highway in Athens was “like a soft, steaming slick of black treacle.” The most poignant theme here is the parenting of bilingual, bicultural kids. Zinovieff realized her family was really becoming Greek when, on her birthday, her girls serenaded her with the Greek equivalent of Happy Birthday (“May you live, little Mum, and grow old, with white hair”). She suspected that as her daughters acclimated to their new country, they would sometimes be embarrassed by her decidedly English customs. The difference between her English and Greek selves was captured by a change of name: In English she was known as Sofka Zinovieff; her Greek neighbors transformed Sofka into Sophia, and schoolchildren called her by her husband’s last name, Papadimitriou. By November, Zinovieff had started to feel rather comfortable in her new environs. She decided to apply for Greek citizenship, even though that promised a long tangle with the bureaucracy. Some aspects of Greek culture—chronic tardiness, for example—grated on her. But she appreciated Athens, a city where even the most urban, modern pockets could still rightly be called “neighborhoods.” She enjoyed getting to know her Greek in-laws and celebrating holidays like Easter in Greece; indeed, she enjoyed both the literal and metaphorical significance of having a new name.

More than travel writing, this is a story of finding home.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-86207-750-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Granta UK/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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