Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Sue Jackson (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

Nonfiction Review: Greek to Me

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


Book By Book

One of the selections for Booktopia 2020 (now a series of virtual author events–you can join in, too!) was Greek to Me by Mary Norris, a writer for The New Yorker. This combination of memoir, essays, and travelogue is an interesting exploration of Greek language, customs, history, and geography.

The author begins by describing how she developed a love for all things Greek and began learning the Greek language by taking classes while working for The New Yorker. She delves into the history of both the Greek and English alphabets and how one influenced the other (my college sorority experience came in handy), which I found surprisingly fascinating. Much of the book covers her many trips to the Greek isles, describing a geography and culture completely unfamiliar to me (though I love the food!). In between her travels to Greece, she continues to study both classical literature and the Greek language, so her descriptions of the places she visits include plenty of history, literature, and mythology references. These are not your typical vacations to fancy Greek resorts or tourist areas but intricate investigations into Greek culture and history. She often travels alone–apparently a rarity for women in Greece. Here, she describes why she prefers to travel solo and what benefits it brings:

“When you travel alone, you are forced to engage with people. Otherwise, you’re stuck with whatever random song was running in your head when you woke up–the theme from Mister Ed, say, or Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini. When you’re with someone from home, it is too easy to stay comfortable, in your own idiom and daily regimen and character. You never have the feeling of alienation that is so formative to an experience in a strange place. Living in Greek was a relief from my interior monologue. Because my Greek was limited, I concentrated on saying only things that were direct and essential. There was no place for small talk. Back at home, I was terrible at small talk. In the Mediterranean, no one knew that. I could make myself up as I went along.”

I struggled with this book a bit at first but ultimately enjoyed it and am glad I read it. I have always wanted to visit Greece, so I was curious about the travel aspects of the memoir. I have to admit, though, that many of her frequent references to classic literature and mythology were completely unfamiliar to me. I know many people who find mythology fascinating (including my son), but I’ve just never been very interested in it. Since I don’t share the author’s obsessions in these subjects, some passages were a bit slow or boring to me. And I was completely lost with all her New Yorker name-dropping. I can see, though, that those who are interested in classic literature, mythology, and Greek history would be fascinated by her deep dive (and the outstanding reviews for this book reflect that). Overall, though, there was plenty here that I enjoyed, particularly in the second half of the book, which focuses more on her travels. And I definitely want to visit Greece! The author will be talking and answering questions tonight at 5 pm online through Northshire Bookstore, and I look forward to hearing her speak.

222 pages, W.W. Norton & Company

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links provide a small commission to me (pennies per purchase), to help offset the time I spend writing for this blog, at no extra cost to you.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook, read by the author, here and/or download it from Audible. I always enjoy hearing memoirs read by the author.
You can purchase Greek to Me from an independent bookstore, either locally or online, here:
  
Or you can order Greek to Me from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.



Source: https://bookbybook.blogspot.com/2020/05/nonfiction-review-greek-to-me.html


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.