While I came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter if the stories are true, false or exaggerated, I'd still like to ask the author to tell us more about her choice. Also, to ask her what made her fall in love with Greece and its people, and what effect recent events have had on her views.
My choice of stories was dictated by the journey that I made around Greece. Every place I stopped presented me with an idea, at the same time as something visual - the creation of the photographs and the fiction happened very simultaneously. For example, the Man on the Mountaintop - was inspired by the sight of the man standing alone in the mist. This moment happens at the end of the story, but it was the inspiration for the whole. And the violinist, playing so happily in the sunshine inspired the story set in Kalamata about the busker.
I wanted to write a book where recent events are just “off-stage” so to speak. Anthony is very much travelling in the present - so the story of the laterna player who does not pay his taxes is very much based on the reality of Greece - i.e. many people don’t consider it their duty/responsibility to pay tax, so they simply don’t. I mention the day to day reality of Greece in Cartes Postales - but at the same time, I don’t want readers to forget its beauty. There are definitely these two sides to Greece - the dilapidated side (caused by the lack of public resources) and the eternally beautiful side (which is the aspect that people who go there for vacations see). They co-exist, and probably always will do.