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The Green Shore

The Green Shore

  • reading group guide
 IN HER MASTERFUL DEBUT NOVEL, The Green Shore, award-winning writer NatalieBakopoulos vividly illuminates a seminal yet little-explored moment in Greek history: the 1967 military coup d’état, which ushered in a seven-year period of devastating brutality and repression.

Through lyrical prose of wisdom and sophistication, we follow the adventures of one family, whose stories of love and resistance play out against the backdrop of this turbulent period. Eleni, a widowed doctor, struggles with her lost sense of passion, both personal and political, in the face of this latest challenge to democracy. Her brother, Mihalis, an eccentric poet of some renown, finds himself keeping a low profile as he attempts to reconcile with his estranged wife. Eleni’s daughter Sophie, a student of French literature, gets swept up in the resistance alongside her privileged, left-leaning boyfriend, while her youngest child, pensive Anna, watches events unfold with increasing anxiety. As the years pass and the dictatorship’s oppressive rule continues unchallenged, their lives unfold in surprising ways, each seeking and finding love and fulfillment as they struggle to make their own peace with when to stay silent and when to act.

Set in Athens and Paris, The Green Shore is an ambitiously told and transporting literary tour de force that delves into a momentous episode in the history of a distant country. The stories of these unforgettable characters sear our hearts and make us understand not only this place, but also what it means to be human, in a new way.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451633955 | 
  • June 2012
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Video

THE GREEN SHORE by Natalie Bakopoulos

Natalie Bakopoulos dives headfirst into her Greek roots in her novel, THE GREEN SHORE.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Green Shore includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Natalie Bakopoulos. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

On an April night in 1967 while the city of Athens slept, the Greek military quietly engineered a government takeover. By dawn, private life and public space were forever changed. Readers of Natalie Bakopoulos’s masterful debut witness this devastating event and its brutal aftermath through the stories of four characters: Sophie, a twenty-one-year-old student of French literature who gets swept up in the excitement of the resistance; her mother, Eleni, a widowed doctor who rediscovers the political passion of her younger years; Mihalis, Eleni’s brother and an outspoken poet; and Anna, Sophie’s younger sister who sheds her childhood shyness and flourishes as an activist, risking her life to defy the military regime. This turbulent, passionate, and devastating era of recent history is brilliantly portrayed through the lens of a family—each member struggling to find their own version of peace and fulfillment in unsettled times.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. The Green see more

More Books from this Author

This free sampler features extended excerpts from six novels coming in 2012 from Simon & Schuster. The books and authors presented in this sampler include  In One Person, the first new novel in three years from  John Irving, Carry the One by Carol Anshaw, Gold by Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee,  In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer, and The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos. In addition to these exclusive previews, the...
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About the Author

Natalie Bakopoulos
Myra Klarman

Natalie Bakopoulos

Natalie Bakopoulos holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan, where she now teaches. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Ninth Letter, Granta.com, Salon.com, The New York Times, and The New York Times Book Review, and has received an O. Henry Award, a Hopwood Award, and the Platsis Prize for Work in the Greek Legacy. She is a contributing editor for the online journal Fiction Writers Review. The Green Shore is her first novel.

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