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Sappho is Out!

Posted on 11/16/2018

It’s been a long time since my last posting on this site. There have been a few distractions. But, now that the mid-term elections are done, I can take a breath and announce the good news. My long-awaited (ahem!) novel about the pre-Socratic poetess, Sappho, is now available online in digital and paper versions!

 

“Tyrants & Poets” is a well-researched novel about the woman who might just be the First Feminist. With her poetry, she made ample use of a new form of social media, The Written Word. At that time of Axial changes in archaic Hellas, Sappho’s words could threaten tyrants, stir erotic passions, and rouse an oppressed populace.

 

A young woman, Cleis, is mentioned in her poems, with the endearing term, “my child”. Historians have debated whether Cleis was actually her daughter or a beloved disciple. I used Cleis to expose the treatment of women in archaic Greece. After participating in the Arkteia, a rite of passage, Cleis is forced into an arranged marriage. She successfully escapes on a boat which is owned by Charoxos, who just happens to be the brother of Sappho. A wine merchant, Charoxos traveled to Egypt, where he fell in love with a priestess of Isis, who also happened to be an old friend of Aesop, the story-teller.

 

Cleis evolves into an assertive woman with the help of Sappho, her adherents, and Amazons. Don’t believe in Amazons? Read my novel and its resources.

 

Sappho lived on Lesbos. Hence the term “lesbian” gets its connotation. But Sappho was more open and fluid than any category could capture. I also learned that there is a “V” in her name. It’s more like “Sav foh”.

 

After researching and publishing this novel, I decided to travel to Greece and see the sites described in my book. In Athens, we stayed at The Electra Palace Hotel. From their rooftop pool, we had a view of The Acropolis. Breath-taking! Because of the financial crisis, all funding for archaeology was cut. So archaeologists now give the tours. When they found out about my interest and research, they felt validated and provided extensive journeys. In Attica, Maritsa took us to Brauron and up The Acropolis to the Parthenon and the Erechtheion with its Caryatids. Looking down from the summit, we saw the Areopagus and the Pynx. What are they? Er, read the book!  In Lesvos, we stayed at The Aphrodite Hotel, enjoyed grilled sardines, and swam in the Aegean. Wonderful! I did go to Skala Eressos, Sappho’s birthplace, and gave out copies of T&P at the Women’s Festival. It was a friendly, casual, relaxed experience. We then flew to Samos with its remains of the Heraion and the famous tunnel through a mountain. Thank you, Irene, another special archaeologist! And, yes, we did take a ferry to Turkey and walked through the ruins of Ephesus. Awesome! Western Turkey is still secular and not very fond of their current leader.

 

By the way, Emirates is a great airline. Over an eleven-hour flight, crossing seven time zones, we were well fed with good meals. The landing was smooth, not even a bump! Thank you, Sappho, for the inspiration you sent to me.

Blog Index

Sappho is Out!
    posted 11/16/2018

At Last, Sappho is back!
    posted 7/21/2018

In the Foreseeable Future
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