Greek and Australian writers will be featured at next month’s Sydney Greek Festival

The 40th Sydney Greek Festival is devoting a day to presentations of recently published books in English by Greek-Australian writers in collaboration with UTS Journalism and Writing.

Although very different in style and content, all the books are united by common themes of migration, displacement and identity.

Several acclaimed Australian Greek writers will participate; the list includes Nina Angelo, Andrew Pippos, Casi Plate, Peter Papathanasiou, George Paxinos, among others.

The event will take place at the prestigious Prince Henry Centre, which was previously established as Prince Henry Hospital in 1881 in response to an outbreak of smallpox and became NSW’s first hospital for infectious diseases. It closed in 2003. There are plenty of spaces to sit and reflect on the site. There will be water, coffee and food available and books to buy and sign.

The sessions will last 45 minutes, including questions from the audience. Books will be on sale and authors available for signings.

The schedule

PETER PRINEAS | WILD COLONIAL GREEKS at 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Wild Colonial Greeks opens up a relatively unexplored period of Greek migration by chronicling those who first landed here during colonial times. From the doctor working in the gold fields, the hotelier fighting against temperance laws, the man sent to Van Diemen’s land for stealing the British Museum, to encounters with indigenous peoples. Peter will be interviewed by writer Jorge Sotirios, author of Graffiti Over Marble: A Portrait of Greece in Crisis and Lonesome George C’est Moi!

NINA ANGELO | DON’T CRY, DANCE from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

“My mother, a Polish Ashkenazi Jewish girl, and my father, a Greek Sephardic Jewish man, would never have met if they hadn’t both lived through the attempted extermination of their race at Auschwitz and Mauthausen. […] They knew and taught me that we cannot move forward without forgiveness. Nina’s memoir celebrates her mother Janka and father Alberto – their survival and love affair as well as their new beginning in Sydney. Nina is a community artist and will be discussing Don’t Cry, Dance with Dr. Alfred Vincent. Alfred taught Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney and, in retirement, continues to research and write on Modern Greek topics.

LAUNCH OF THE CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION PUBLICATION at 12:00-12:45 p.m.

In Children of the Revolution, Greek-Australian scholars, writers, poets, artists and photographers reinvent and reinterpret ideas of identity and place and what it means to be Greek in the diaspora. This publication presents a wide range of voices with new insights into the diasporic experience of second and third generations. Published by O Kosmos newspaper, it is an example of media in transition championing diversity in storytelling. Contributors include George Megalogenis, Andrew Pippos, Effy Alexakis, Tony Maniaty, Katerina Cosgrove, Koraly Dimitriadis, Chantal Contouri and many more. The first post in this series won the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Award 2020. This is the second in the series and is edited by Dr Helen Vatsikopoulos, journalist and senior lecturer at Sydney University of Technology. The launch will include a poetry reading by Koraly Dimitriadis and a discussion with some of the contributors.

ANDREW PIPPOS | LUCKY’S from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Andrew Pippos’ debut novel, Lucky’s, has been shortlisted for Australia’s most prestigious awards: the Miles Franklin Award and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. He is a lecturer in creative writing at UTS. A former journalist, his essays and short stories have appeared in numerous publications. Lucky’s celebrates Greek coffee culture from the 1930s to the present day in a multi-generational family saga with love at its heart. Lucky started with a PhD in Creative Arts at UTS and Andrew will be interviewed by his thesis supervisor, Associate Professor Tony Macris. Tony is the author of numerous books including When Horse Became Saw, Capital, Great Western Highway, Aftershocks and Inexperience.

CASSI PLATE | MONSTER AND COLOSSUS at 2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Costas Taktsis, one of the most important post-war Greek writers, wrote his famous novel The Third Wedding largely in Australia. One of his closest friends was Australian painter and gallery owner Carl Plate. Monster and Colossus is a letter-based story between Taktsis and his Australian friends Carl and Jocelyn, by their daughter Cassi. Professor Vrasidas Karalis, will interview him and examine the link between writing and painting in the era of modernity and post-war cosmopolitanism. Vrasidas Karalis is the author of numerous books including The Glebe Point Road Blues, The Demons of Athens, The Cinematic Language of Theo Angelopoulos and The Recollections of Mr Manoly Lascaris.

PETER PAPATHANASIOU | THE STONING at 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

This is the Sydney launch of The Stoning, biologist Peter Papathanasiou’s first detective novel. A work of black outback, it begins with the discovery of the stoning of a woman. Enter George Manolis, a Greek-Australian detective sent to solve the murder. The novel enjoyed outstanding reviews at home and abroad. Set in a fictional outback town with a migrant detention centre, it explores issues surrounding Australia’s immigration policies and racism. Peter has worked at ANU, Stanford, New York University and Imperial College London. His first book, the memoir Little One (2019), is being adapted for the screen, as is Stoning. The novel has been nominated for literary awards here and in the UK, including the Crime Writer’s Association’s prestigious Gold Dagger and New Blood Dagger. He will discuss this and more with the director of the Writers’ Festival, Dr. Helen Vatsikopoulos.

GEORGE PAXINOS / A DIVIDED RIVER at 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Internationally renowned scientist Professor George Paxinos is an environmental activist and his first eco-fiction novel explores the battle between humans and nature that threatens the survival of our planet. George has published 57 scientific books, including the most cited work in neuroscience and the third most cited in all sciences, and has worked at top universities around the world including Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, UCLA and UNSW. When a two-thousand-year-old ossuary containing the bones of a crucified man is discovered near Masada, its DNA is cloned to produce two men who grow up on opposite sides of the world and face off in the Amazon as part of of the climate change debate. Nature or culture? Do we need a Messiah to save the planet? George will be interviewed by editor Kiriaki Orfanos.

When: Sunday June 12, 2022, 10am-5pm

Or: Prince Henry Centre, 2 Coast Hospital Rd, Little Bay

Reservations and information: Free event, registration required, to find out more visit greekfestivalofsydney.com.au

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