I launched this “Curated” series to share great products that have unique stories behind them that I feel should be more accessible to people interested in all things Greek. My next featured product in my series has quite a story. In fact, it’s one of the greatest Greek stories ever told.
The biggest-selling book in Greek history since its first release in 1962– Farewell Anatolia by Dido Sotiriou has become the anthem of an entire generation of Greeks who fled Asia Minor in the early 1920s.
I first read this book more than a decade ago and tried finding my original copy on my bookshelf. I was drawn to this book, as well as others I’m re-reading these days, given all of the activity in the Eastern Mediterranean and the constant threats from Turkey.
They say history repeats itself and a paragraph that I remembered from Farewell Anatolia struck a memory when I saw a contemporary photo of refugees sleeping amongst the graves of the dead in Lesvos.
Dido Sotiriou shared this exact scenario In her book about the 1922 catastrophe— when the refugees of that era arrived and also sought comfort amongst the dead.
I was unsuccessful in locating my original copy— I probably loaned it to someone and forgot to get it back. Who knows. I then turned to Amazon, unsuccessfully, as second-party sellers were selling their used copies for three and four times the regular cost, given the scarcity of the book in the United States.
I then decided to reach out to the publisher in Greece, not only to get my own copy, but to see how I could make this important book available to readers of The Pappas Post, interested in the topic.
I’ve arranged to bring a shipment of these books from Greece, after a three-week-long order period. I’m taking orders via the link below. All orders will be shipped on/around October 20th to any address in the United States
The winner of countless book awards and global critical acclaim, Farewell Anatolia is a tale of paradise lost and of shattered innocence; a tragic fresco of the fall of Hellenism in Asia Minor; a stinging indictment of Great Power politics, oil-lust and corruption.
Dido Sotiriou’s novel, Matomena Homata (Bloodied Soil in Greek) tells the story of Manolis Axiotis , a poor but resourceful villager born near the ancient ruins of Ephesus.
Axiotis is a fictional protagonist and eyewitness to an authentic nightmare: Greece’s “Asia Minor Catastrophe”, the death or expulsion of two million Greeks from Turkey by Kemal Ataturk’s forces in the late summer of 1922.
Manolis Axiotis’ chronicle of personal fortitude, betrayed hope, and defeat resonates with the greater tragedy of two nations: Greece, vanquished and humiliated; Turkey, bloodily victorious. Two neighbors linked by bonds of culture and history yet diminished by mutual greed, cruelty and bloodshed.