Why Join?

  • Add New Books

  • Write a Review

  • Backpack Reading Lists

  • Monthly Newsletter

Join Now

Mermaid Singing

Mermaid Singing

Author(s): Charmian Clift

Location(s): Kalymnos

Genre(s): Travelogue, Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): Early 1950s

Location

Content

Buy Now

In 1951 the Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston left grey, post-war London for Greece. Settling first on the tiny island of Kalymnos, then Hydra, their plan was to live simply and focus on their writing, away from the noise of the big city. The result is two of Charmian Clift’s best known and most loved books, the memoirs Mermaid Singing and Peel Me a Lotus. Mermaid Singing relays the culture shock and the sheer delight of their first year on the tiny sponge-fishing island of Kalymnos. Clift paints an evocative picture of the characters and sun-drenched rhythms of traditional life, long before backpackers and mass tourism descended. On Hydra, featured in the companion volume, Peel Me a Lotus, Clift and Johnston became the centre of an informal community of artists and writers including the then unknown Leonard Cohen who lodged with them, and his future girlfriend Marianne Ihlen.

Review this Book

To review this book, please

Log in

Book Reviews

Lead Review

Author: Tina Hartas

Kalymnos lived on the sponge diving industry but it was a dying art when Chairman and her husband arrived, two children in tow, landing in a country that was so unfamiliar, with little money...

Read review

Latest Blogs

Enter the inaugural TripFiction 'Voyages by Verse' Poetry Competition...

A poem in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

1,000 word maximum - no minimum

Top judges to decide the winners

Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 13th June 2021