“After The Island”, the new book by the British author, was inspired by Spinalonga and is an historical novel of 20th century Greece. Its story starts in 1926 and stretches until after the Civil War in the 1950s.
The writer, who has repeatedly expressed her love and admiration for Greece and has been living in the country for some time, said that the beaches, the sea and the food are wonderful, but the most important of all is its history. This is why she explores new places with every opportunity she has to visit Greece.
Hislop spoke to the Athens News Agency about her inspiration and her future plans at the London WTM Tourism Fair, where she was taking part in the press conference organized by the Greek Ministry of Tourism.
“The inspiration for this book came very specifically from a visit at Sounio, at the Temple of Poseidon, probably ten years ago. As I was looking at the sea, I could see some rocks there and asked the man who was with me which island is that. “Maklronisos”, was the answer, and I asked again what Makronisos is … He was a Greek … ” she said meaningfully.
Makronisos is an island that served as a detention center for political prisoners between the late 1940s and the early 1970s. It is not inhabited now and it is very difficult to visit.
It took Hislop eight years until she managed to find someone to take her there, she said. “I had to go and go back again. The sea in the passage between Lavrio and Makronisos is difficult to cross. Even if you’ve got it set up, you may not be able to go because of the weather. Eventually I made it and it was exciting, totally strange that it still stays there from the 40s and 50s. Its position is a piece of my inspiration.”