Thursday 28 September
3.00 pm (doors open 2.30 pm)
All Saints Church, Victoria Square, Penarth
Tickets: £28.00 includes a signed hardback copy of The Figurine / £10.00 Event Only
When Helena inherits her grandparents’ apartment in Athens, she is overwhelmed with memories of the summers she spent there as a child, when Greece was under a brutal military dictatorship. Her remote, cruel grandfather was one of the regime’s generals and as she sifts through the dusty rooms, Helena discovers an array of valuable objects and antiquities. How did her grandfather amass such a trove? What human price was paid for them?
Helena’s desire to find answers about her heritage dovetails with a growing curiosity for archaeology, ignited by a summer spent with volunteers on a dig on an Aegean island. Their finds fuel her determination to protect the precious fragments recovered from the baked earth – and to understand the origins of her grandfather’s collection. Helena’s attempt to make amends for some of her grandfather’s actions sees her wrestle with the meaning of ‘home’, both in relation to looted objects of antiquity… and herself.
Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international bestseller, has sold more than 6 million copies and was turned into a 26-part Greek TV series. She was named Newcomer of the Year at the British Book Awards and is now an ambassador for Lepra. Her affection for the Mediterranean then took her to Spain, and in the number one bestseller The Return she wrote about the painful secrets of its civil war. In The Thread, Victoria returned to Greece to tell the turbulent tale of Thessaloniki and its people across the twentieth century. Shortlisted for a British Book Award, it confirmed her reputation as an inspirational storyteller.
Her fourth novel, The Sunrise, about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the enduring ghost town of Famagusta, was a Sunday Times number one bestseller. Cartes Postales from Greece, fiction illustrated with photographs, was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and one of the biggest selling books of 2016. The poignant and powerful Those Who Are Loved, was a Sunday Times number one hardback bestseller in 2019 and explores a tempestuous period of modern Greek history through the eyes of a complex and compelling heroine. Victoria’s most recent novel, One August Night, returned to Crete in the long-anticipated sequel to The Island. It spent twelve weeks in the Top 10 hardback fiction charts. Her books have been translated into forty languages.
Victoria divides her time between England and Greece and in 2020, was granted honorary citizenship by the President of Greece. She was recently appointed patron of Knossos 2025, which is raising funds for a new research centre at one of Greece’s most significant archaeological sites. She is also on the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles. Victoria was recently granted an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Sheffield.