The Greek for Love: A Memoir Of Sorrow And Joy

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The Greek for Love: A Memoir Of Sorrow And Joy

by James Chatto

Random House Of Canada | February 28, 2006 | Trade Paperback

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"Sometimes on nights like these, when I've been working late and the house is quiet, my mind skims away through the years to the time when we lived on Corfu. Our time there floats in the darkness of the past like a tiny island of green and yellow light. . ."

They arrived as tourists, Wendy from Canada and James from England, young, new to each other and probably even more in love than they realized. The two-line ad in the Sunday Times, advertising "Villa Parginos, Loutses, Corfu," conjured an image of long afternoons drinking wine on a marble patio shaded by a grape arbour, looking out over an impossible Greek blue sea. Instead they got a little pink bungalow with linoleum, a buzzing fluorescent light and a patio separated from the village's main street by a wire fence.

And yet Corfu delivered so much more than their wildest fantasy had suggested. Yes, there was the warmth of the sun, intoxicating to frozen northerners, and languid walks along sage- and oregano- bordered byways, and swimming naked off an idyllic beach. Olive trees dropped their fruit into nets, and there were fresh apricots, grilled sardines, marinated lamb and long evenings of storytelling at the local taverna - life, reduced to the sensual quotidian. But what captivated James Chatto and Wendy Martin (who soon became his wife) was the way the islanders embraced them, once they bought and renovated a house of their own. The baptism of their firstborn son was the demarcation line; after that they were locals, not tourists. And, as Chatto's eloquent memoir so touchingly reveals, their deep connection to Corfu and its people sustained them through tragedy just as it had carried them into love.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 4.72 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: February 28, 2006

Publisher: Random House Of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679313141

ISBN - 13: 9780679313144

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

The Greek for Love: A Memoir Of Sorrow And Joy

The Greek for Love: A Memoir Of Sorrow And Joy

by James Chatto

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 4.72 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: February 28, 2006

Publisher: Random House Of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679313141

ISBN - 13: 9780679313144

Read from the Book

Prelude November 1982 The storm reached the island just after nightfall, a monstrous anvil of cloud that came twisting down the Adriatic, lit from within by red and white lightning. For a moment, it towered over the hills that surrounded our high mountain valley, while the tall cypress trees moaned and swayed in panic. A sudden gust of wind sucked the dried brown leaves from the grapevine above the patio. Panes of glass buzzed in the window frame, shutters swung hysterically on their hinges. As the first great peal of thunder shook the house, the electricity gave out. Wendy and I had been doing our accounts in the privacy of the bedroom. We sat motionless in the sudden darkness and watched the glowing red bar of the tiny electric heater fade to black. Feeling my way along the walls of the corridor, through the parlour with its red plush, Sunday-best sofas, I reached the warmth of the kitchen. Our friend Kostantes was bent over the wood stove, loading another log. “Woo woo woo, Dzimi!” he laughed, his gold tooth flashing piratically in the candlelight. I pointed at the candle on the table, trying to make him understand we too wanted light. He limped across to the old dresser beside the fridge and started to rummage around in a drawer. “Olé, Dzimi!” he called triumphantly, brandishing a half-burned stub. He lit it in the other candle’s flame, dripped some wax into a small glass tumbler and stuck the little stump down. “Oreia?” he a
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From the Publisher

"Sometimes on nights like these, when I've been working late and the house is quiet, my mind skims away through the years to the time when we lived on Corfu. Our time there floats in the darkness of the past like a tiny island of green and yellow light. . ."

They arrived as tourists, Wendy from Canada and James from England, young, new to each other and probably even more in love than they realized. The two-line ad in the Sunday Times, advertising "Villa Parginos, Loutses, Corfu," conjured an image of long afternoons drinking wine on a marble patio shaded by a grape arbour, looking out over an impossible Greek blue sea. Instead they got a little pink bungalow with linoleum, a buzzing fluorescent light and a patio separated from the village's main street by a wire fence.

And yet Corfu delivered so much more than their wildest fantasy had suggested. Yes, there was the warmth of the sun, intoxicating to frozen northerners, and languid walks along sage- and oregano- bordered byways, and swimming naked off an idyllic beach. Olive trees dropped their fruit into nets, and there were fresh apricots, grilled sardines, marinated lamb and long evenings of storytelling at the local taverna - life, reduced to the sensual quotidian. But what captivated James Chatto and Wendy Martin (who soon became his wife) was the way the islanders embraced them, once they bought and renovated a house of their own. The baptism of their firstborn son was the demarcation line; after that they were locals, not tourists. And, as Chatto's eloquent memoir so touchingly reveals, their deep connection to Corfu and its people sustained them through tragedy just as it had carried them into love.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

James Chatto's award-winning writing on food, wine and travel appears frequently in leading magazines and newspapers in Canada, the U.S. and England. He is the author of four cookbooks and a contributor to many others. His nonfiction book, The Man Who Ate Toronto (1998), was nominated for the City of Toronto Book Award and won awards from Cuisine Canada and Heritage Toronto. In an earlier incarnation, Chatto was an actor, a singer and a saxophonist with a single that reached number two on the British Northern Soul charts.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"For anyone who's fantasized about running off to live on a Greek isle or any other idyllic spot abroad, this is a lovely way to do it vicariously."
-Maclean's

"The Greek for Love is every bit as sumptuous as its setting. In Chatto, we have a tour guide of inimitable perception and style. As with the food he so warmly describes throughout the book, we cannot help
but devour his carefully constructed offering."
-Toronto Star

"Chatto does for Greece what Under the Tuscan Sun did for Italy or Chris Stewart's Driving Over Lemons did for Spain…. An exquisite book that will appeal to anyone who ever thought of owning an olive tree."
-The Sun Times (Owen Sound)
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