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by Irena Karafilly

Calliope Adham – young, strong-willed, and recently widowed – is schoolmistress in the village of Molyvos when Hitler’s army invades Greece in 1941. Well-read and linguistically gifted, she is recruited by the Germans to act as their liaison officer. It is the beginning of a personal and national saga that will last for several decades.

Calliope’s wartime duties bring her into close contact with Lieutenant Lorenz Umbreit, the Wehrmacht commander. The schoolmistress is an active member of the Greek Resistance, yet her friendship with the German blossoms against all odds, in a fishing village seething with dread and suspicion.

Amid privation and death, the villagers’ hostility finally erupts, but the bond between Calliope and Umbreit survives, taking unforeseeable turns as Greece is ravaged by civil war and oppressed by military dictatorship. It is against this turbulent background that Calliope emerges as a champion for girls' and women's rights.

Arrested Song is a haunting, sumptuous novel, weaving the private and the historic into a vivid tapestry of Greek island life.  Spanning over three decades, it chronicles the story of an extraordinary woman and her lifelong struggle against social and political tyranny.

'I enjoyed Arrested Song immensely … Karafilly succeeds brilliantly where I had decided not even to try. A very accomplished novel' Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin)

‘A gripping, powerfully evocative chronicle of Greek island life in times of peace and war. Nothing is black and white here, least of all her feisty, iconoclastic heroine...hard to put this book down.’ Sofka Zinovieff, author of Red Princess and Putney 

‘Arrested Song is a wonderful novel, fully realized and absorbing.’ Anna Porter, author of Deception

‘An epic, page-turning story, of longing and bravery. Arrested Song is a must-read.’ Nadia Marks, author of One Summer in Crete

‘Arrested Song is a highly accomplished, thoroughly researched, and compelling read.’ Dean Kalimniou, author of the poetry anthology Motherlands

‘One of the best novels I’ve read about modern Greece... A truly original work.’ Diana Farr Louis, author of A Taste of Greece

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ISBN (Paperback):  9781915643964

ISBN (Ebook): 9781915643971

Price: £9.99 (Paperback) £5.99 (Ebook)

Pub Date: 28th March 2023

Extent: 352 pages
Format: 198x129mm
Rights Held: World

Translation rights: Yes

Irena Karafilly is an award-winning writer, poet, and author of several acclaimed books.  Her short stories have been broadcast, anthologized, and published in both literary and mainstream magazines; her articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, including the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. Karafilly was born in Russia, educated in Canada, and currently divides her time between Montreal and Athens. Visit:

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