New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

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jarkko
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New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

Postby jarkko » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:00 pm

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Tamar Hodes:The Water and the Wine. This new novel "all about Leonard Cohen and Marianne on Hydra" will be published on May 1st. It will be a paperback and an ebook.
It is the 1960s and a group of young writers and artists gather on the Greek island of Hydra. Leonard Cohen is at the start of his career and in love with Marianne, who is also muse to her ex-husband, Axel. Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift drink, write and fight. It is a hedonistic time of love, sex and new ideas. As the island hums with excitement, Jack and Frieda join the community, hoping to mend their broken marriage. However, Greece is overtaken by a military junta and the artistic idyll is threatened.

In this fictionalised account of the time, Tamar Hodes explores the destructive side of creativity and the price that we pay for our dreams.
Biography (from Amazon)
Tamar Hodes was born in Israel in 1961 and has lived in the UK since 1967. After growing up in north London, she read English and Education at Homerton College, Cambridge. For the past thirty-two years she has taught English in schools, universities and prisons.

Her novel Raffy’s Shapes was published by Accent Press in 2006 and chosen as the book of the month by Waterstones in October of that year. She has had ten stories broadcast on Radio 4 and others published in anthologies including Salt’s The Best British Short Stories 2015, The Pigeonhole, Your One Phone Call, the Ofi Press, MRI Online and Fictive Dreams.

In 2016 her novel The Mauves was shortlisted for the Wells Literature Festival children’s writing prize and her story The Boating Pond longlisted for the Frome prize.

Tamar is married with two grown-up children.
Thanks to the author for the information
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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Re: New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

Postby jarkko » Thu May 03, 2018 7:45 am

The book was published on May 1 by Hookline Books.
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-10: 0995623546
ISBN-13: 978-0995623545
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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Re: New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

Postby Brian M » Fri May 04, 2018 12:14 pm

This book is currently free as a Kindle edition on Amazon UK.
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Re: New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

Postby Mabeanie1 » Fri May 04, 2018 2:52 pm

Brian M wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 12:14 pm
This book is currently free as a Kindle edition on Amazon UK.
Thanks for the info Brian. Ordered!

Wendy
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Re: New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

Postby jarkko » Sun May 20, 2018 9:50 pm

Review written by Felicity Fanjoy. Reprinted from her monthly book column in the Waaskimaashtaau Newsmagazine.

Thanks to Felicity for her permission to share it here!
ADVENTURES IN READING:
THE WATER AND THE WINE by Tamar Hodes

by Felicity Fanjoy

Many, many years ago, I spent six months in Greece, nearly half of that on a small steep picturesque island called Hydra. The main village of ancient whitewashed houses rose up so precipitously from the pretty horseshoe-shaped harbour that most of its cobbled streets turned into stairs at certain points and could only be negotiated on foot or by donkey. There were no cars or bikes on the island, engendering a slow and quiet pace of life. It took over three hours to get to Hydra by ferry from Piraeus, the bustling port of Athens, and that journey allowed travellers to gradually adjust from the tempo of a crowded modern city to the almost-medieval rhythm of the island.

Hydra’s special beauty attracted the rich and famous who would moor their yachts in the harbour and come ashore for a few hours to stroll along the waterfront and pause for a drink or a meal at one of the open-air portside cafés. You might even spot Jackie Onassis or Richard Burton at a nearby table in your favourite taverna.

However, higher up the hillsides, there were still houses that could be bought or rented for modest amounts, and these attracted a small international community of artists, writers and musicians. The most famous among them (for us as Canadians) was Leonard Cohen who wrote many of his best-known early works, including “Bird on a Wire” and “So Long Marianne”, in the house he had purchased when he was still an unrecognized talent.

I got to know him (and Marianne) while I was there so, needless to say, I was quite interested when a recent book was published about that group of artists and writers on Hydra. THE WATER AND THE WINE by Tamar Hodes is set in the early Sixties when her family lived there for a year. That was about a decade before I was on the island, but a number of the characters in her book were people that I met there ten years later.

The thing is, this is not a book of memoirs nor is it a biography. It is fiction. And it is a kind of writing that I do not feel at ease with. Historical fiction about people long departed is fine. It can bring to life a bygone era, provide insight into historical events and illuminate historical figures. But a book like this one about people still living or just recently dead feels like a real invasion of privacy (most especially when the author is describing – over and over – scenes of people I actually knew making love!)

It is one thing to research and interview people, and then write informed and honest profiles of them, but to imagine their internal thoughts, private conversations and most intimate moments seems unforgivably presumptuous to me.

If Hodes had truly fictionalized this book by changing the names of all the characters, that would have been fine. I could then accept that this was purely a work of imagination inspired by real people. But it appears that the only characters whose names she changed were the members of her own family. This makes me suspect that she was just trying to cash in by name-dropping and gossiping about her more famous neighbours.

The way that she portrays her own “fictional” family is a little odd, too. The young girl (presumably herself) seems sensitive and loving, but her brother is pictured as cold and distant, barely uttering a word throughout the entire book, and her parents, well… I expect that most of us don’t even like to think of our parents having sex lives at all, let alone describing their conjugal encounters for the world to read!

What I liked best about this book was her descriptions of Hydra itself, of familiar shops and cafés, of the vegetation, birds and animals. These woke up memories of an enchanted time in a magical place for me.

But I was shocked to learn in the author profile that Tamar Hodes was an English teacher for 33 years. I pity her students because her work is spattered with grammatical errors (one glaring example is when she says “there was fresh vegetables” instead of “there were fresh vegetables”,) and her word choices were sometimes decidedly odd. For instance, she described a dessert as sitting “smugly” in its syrup. How on earth can food be smug? And what would it be smug about anyway when on the verge of being eaten? It felt as though this book was rushed into print without proper proofreading or editing.

Another criticism I have is that Hodes got some things purely wrong. She implies at the end of her book that all these foreign writers and artists simply scattered at the end of that year, never to return again. Not true. Also, she portrays Marianne, whom I knew as a strong and vibrant personality, as a very beautiful but wishy-washy and constantly self-doubting woman. How sad to see her described this way.

Despite all its faults, I have to confess that I read THE WATER AND THE WINE avidly, but that was undoubtedly due to my own nostalgia for people and a place that I once knew rather than for the quality of the writing.
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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Re: New book about artist life on Hydra in the 60's by Tamar Hodes

Postby Hartmut » Sun May 20, 2018 10:52 pm

I don't know how good the book is, but this sentence made me smile: "Leonard’s voice was velvet gravel and deep."

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