Athina and her Daughters by Eleni Frangouli-Nickas

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Athina and her Daughters

a memoir of two worldsHighly recommended

Author: Eleni Frangouli-Nickas
Title: Athina and her Daughters: a memoir of two worlds 
pp 206 pbk, ISBN  9780980532128

Language: English 
Publication Series: Writing the Greek Diaspora 
Year of publication: 2009
RRP: $22.95

This memoir tells the story of a Greek mother and her five daughters, and their journey through all of the 20th century from Greece – with its rural and urban traditions, politics, occupations and civil wars – to migration in Australia where the daughters come for a better life. Through a polyphonic narrative, it lets the women speak in their own voices and tell their own stories about the impact of major events in their lives.

The author – who is the youngest daughter of this family – writes in her prologue:

"...my ultimate hope is that this memoir will be added to the myriad other migrant stories told, and serve as one more document of the social, political, cultural and historical upheavals that Greek women went through during the last century. With war and migration as the pivotal events, their lives were inexorably marked."

Gillian Bouras, an Australian writer who has experienced migration in reverse (she went with her Greek husband and their children to live in Greece) has said of this memoir:

"This story is one of the powers of women, and of the nature of maternal love. It is a wonderful tribute to an ostensibly modest life; but, as we know, modest lives make up a vital fabric."

About the author:
Eleni Frangouli-Nickas (also known as Helen Nickas) is an editor and publisher of Greek-Australian literary writers, and a literary translator. She was also a Greek studies lecturer till 2006 at La Trobe University. She lives in Melbourne.