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Book club: Q&A with Sofka Zinovieff, author of The House on Paradise Street

(26 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 25-Apr-12 08:56:05

We hope you're finding things to enjoy and think about in The House on Paradise Street. If you've found the book interesting, do ask a question for Sofka by Thursday 3 May, when we'll be sending them off to her in Athens.

GoldenGran Fri 27-Apr-12 19:43:53

thanks Geraldine , I have just received my copy, it looks intriguing.

jeni Fri 27-Apr-12 20:33:02

I haven't had mine yet?

MaggieP Mon 30-Apr-12 11:02:13

I haven't had time to start reading mine yet!

Grandmanorm Mon 30-Apr-12 13:19:35

I am over half way through and absolutely love it. Thank you very much for sending me a copy.

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 30-Apr-12 15:08:45

It seems some of the books were a bit slow in going out, so we've extended the deadline for questions for another week. We hope you've got your copy now, if you were one of the first 200 - do ask a question.

gma Thu 03-May-12 12:19:58

Really enjoying my copy of 'The house on Paradise Street'

gma Thu 03-May-12 12:25:39

I am really enjoying reading The House on Paradise Street- It is nothing like I expected!!!!! For once, I did not read any reviews or anything about it before I started it.
Fortunately it is cold and wet here so I will not be able to get on with the gardening or cleaning the conservatory windows!!!! Will just have to read my book!!!! Shame wink

Jan Fri 04-May-12 10:46:31

Thanks for my copy. I love it and the way the story unfolds through the thoughts and actions of Antigone and Maud. I have spent many years holidaying in Greece and through Captain Corelli's Mandolin and from Greek relatives learned much about the war years. The House on Paradise Street is adding to my understanding of the suffering of people of Greece. Can't wait to finish it. It's been to Rome and back with me!

Hameringham Fri 04-May-12 13:11:51

Thank you for my copy. A thrilling story, difficult to put down.

scribblegranny Fri 04-May-12 16:00:02

I really enjoyed The House On Paradise Street. My question is: do you think the wartime period and the postwar history of greece is still reverberating through the current crisis - and if so, how?

touchpaper Fri 04-May-12 16:02:18

One of the themes of the book us that the terrible 20th century history of Greece is partly the fault of the British. As a Brit living in Athens, is that something you are made aware of - or is it all water under the bridge now?

closetgran Fri 04-May-12 16:03:13

I wondered what your reasons were for writing the book in two voices, Maud's and Antigone's?

fabgran Fri 04-May-12 16:57:32

I thought the story really raced along. I think it was your first novel. Did you find fiction harder to write than non-fiction? Do you think the ability to tell a story with a good pace comes naturally or do you have to work at it?

gma Sun 06-May-12 11:56:20

I thoroughly enjoyed The House on Paradise Street, and I am ashamed to say that I knew very little of the history of modern Greece. Since reading this book I am determined to find out more. I have visited many of the Greek Islands and seen memorials to Greeks killed during the Second World War, but I was very ignorant of the history. Thanks to your book, I have now a desire to learn more.
I can really see this book being made into a film, What would be your reactions to this. Hopefully it would be better than the adaption of Captain Corelli's Mandolin!!!
Thank you again for opening my eyes and giving me such a fantastic experience reading your book. flowers

firenze Mon 07-May-12 19:11:22

Maud is an anthropologist, as you are, I think. And of course she's a Brit married to a Greek. Is she partly autobiographical?

I really enjoyed the book, by the way!

getmehrt Mon 07-May-12 19:13:50

Maud seems quite lost in Athens, as though she doesn't really belong. Is that an inevitable expat experience, do you think - or were you trying to make a particular point about her character and experience?

RuthMarianna Mon 07-May-12 21:38:09

I am loving this book.

Harrikat Tue 08-May-12 11:56:55

How radically different perceptions of events can be within a family. Antigone's overriding love for her brother and need to bury his body seems to show the relevance of ancient Greek tragedy today. How does Nikitas' attraction to Maud fit his mistrust of the British & their actions after the second world war? Is the name Maud significant, slightly off-kilter, out of time? does this allow Maud to become Mod, Mond, almost a different person?
I found the book very compelling, really makes me think about family perceptions and the writing of history.

totallygranned Tue 08-May-12 15:41:36

I was perplexed by Maud's complacency over Nikitas. She seemed very happy not to know much about him until after he died. Were you making a point about her character, or marriage to Greek men - or perhaps you weren't making a pint at all?!


photon Tue 08-May-12 15:48:32

Greece has become central to European politics - and very worrying now with neo-fascists in parliament - yet it certainly seem in Britain that we are rather ignorant of recent Greek history. I wondered why you thought that was?

sloopy Tue 08-May-12 15:50:32

I found Antigone's story absolutely riveting. I know it was based on truth - but were many women locked up for political reasons or was it very extraordinary?

champagne Tue 08-May-12 16:11:43

I really enjoyed The House on Paradise Street. Sometimes novels with a political aspect get overwhelmed by the politics, but this is a very powerful family story. Was it hard work to hold those two aspects of the book in balance? Having done the research, was it easy to forget it again and write about your characters?

FeeTee Tue 08-May-12 16:46:30

Thoroughly enjoying (almost finished) the book. I was shocked at the various events that took place immediately after the war - I knew nothing about them and nor did others I have discussed it with. Is this one of the reasons you wanted to tell the story? To bring it to a wider audience?

kittyp Tue 08-May-12 16:49:03

I would love to know a bit more about you and the book - I have assumed it is translated from Greek but is this the case? And do you have Anglo-Greek connections?