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Greek Islands by Assouline

A glorious book on the magnificence of the Greek islands with texts by Chrysanthos Panas, photography by Katerina Katopis – Lykiardopoulo and foreword by Eugenia Chandris

A blank sheet of paper and an expectantly hovering pen have always made me anxious. Half my working day demands some kind of writing, yet I always regard it with the same apprehension as I reserve for a gruelling run. It is torture when you do it, elating when it is over.

Assouline’s latest destination tome is authored by my friend and hospitality innovator Chrysanthos Panas. When he asked me to pen the introduction I accepted enthusiastically. My deep sentiment for Greece’s islands almost obliterated my writer’s block!

There are shelves of books on this geographical collection, yet this new book emanates an aura of magnificence. Its dimensions are impressive, the font distinctive and the images luscious and vibrant.

Katerina Katopis – Lykiardopoulo has taken an exceptional gallery of photographs encompassing sweeping seascapes and rural panoramas, touching portraits and architectural details. Images of piercing clarity and colour are juxtaposed with grainy black and white photographs, some faces instantly familiar, others unknown. You are affectionately reminded of a familiar location and then suddenly jolted by a scene unknown to you.

Chrysanthos Panas’s text carries the reader along on the ocean wave of his voyage with a conversational familiarity with the islands he visits. Some are glamourous and socially clamorous, such as Mykonos, Spetses and Santorini; others sedate and dignified such as Chios, Naxos, Andros and others notable for their religious purity such as Patmos and Tinos. All are gorgeous!

Writing this tribute on a rainy Athenian afternoon, I can transport myself to a Cycladic sun-streaked alley, rest my back against a sun warmed wall and then wander with no aim other than to feel at peace.


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