In 1980, David Mason, a young novelist with wanderlust, moved to Greece with his new wife, Jonna. She had disliked his plan of going to cold Scotland where she, “perhaps, would knit” while he wrote. By chance, a friend of a friend had a house for them to rent, and so they packed their bags for Kalamitsi in Mani, a rugged region on the southernmost tip of the Peloponnese. Having no Greek and needing to rely on others as they learned it, they were nicknamed ta paidiá (“the children”) by the locals. But to Mason, they were modern lotus-eaters, “stoned on sea and sunlight” and finding their escape in “the bright tints of the Aegean.”

News from the Village is his record of Greece, of its “vitality and pain.” He says he wrote the memoir “wanting the people I had known to join in some imaginary circle rather than remaining scattered in experience.” He...

 
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