Olympia Panagiotopoulos: Beneath the Fig Leaves
Whitehorse Manningham Libraries
A memoir of food, family and Greece. In 1955, in a village in Greece that was marred by war and poverty, Giannoula and Fotios Panagiotopoulos dreamed of providing a better future for their children. Australia, it was rumoured, was a land of opportunity where hard work brought reward. Leaving behind family and friends, they set off to make a new home on the other side of the world. Half a lifetime later, under the shade of a fig tree and in the dappled Melbourne sunlight, Giannoula regales her youngest daughter, Olympia, with stories of her homeland and journey. An evocative exploration of the ties that bind, Beneath the Fig Leaves weaves an irresistible tapestry of family, food and history to stir the heart and senses. Born in Melbourne to Greek parents, Olympia Panagiotopoulos comes from a long line of storytellers who inspired in her a love of folklore, myths and legends. Themes of identity and belonging are central to her writing and she is a strong advocate for celebrating bold female characters – in story and in everyday life.