Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview
Vana Manasiadis


Take the bus to the old airport, not the new, because it is near the coast. Take a domestic flight,
preferably one to Hydra – not the monster – the island that had once been a maritime power and try to board an outbound ship.
But if when you get there you find the place a resort for rich Austrians, swim to Aegina.
And then, as quick you can, jump on a fishing caique heading for Methana.
At some point, you will stumble across Divri, deep in the heart of the Peloponnese. Or Morea as it used to be called, after that purple berry that’s about,
that I used to spot my tops with. If you get tired, slump against a wall then hop on a truck on its way to Mystras –
the hillock named after that myzithra cheese you like. It’s haunted. Take this icon.
Visit also Olympia for your great-grandmother and Monemvasia because it is like being on an ancient prow.
Climb its million steps to the top to see what you can see, even though it will be dark and gusty; and the cobbles on the paths rattling.
An elderly local will probably greet you and give you his staff. He’ll say: that way, and point
So continue on, until you come across a floating house about to disembark.
Climb aboard, set your pack down on the deck, and wait for Hania, Crete. El Greco, the Spaniard, will be waiting for you on the pier.
He’ll give you a bag of koulouria before you begin up the steep hill and then along the gorge whose cliffs meet so close,
you’ll have to give up your pack in order to slip through.
The Arkadhi Monastery will be standing at the other end. And the chief monk will tell you about the villagers who chose death
over occupation in one of the wars within its very walls. He’ll give you a tour and a donkey from one of the stables,
and point you downwards towards a flat plain which you’ll reach after daybreak; in which you’ll find
a valley of white crosses. And read Oamaru, then Dunedin, then Bay of Plenty and so on and so on until
looking up a long time after, you’ll find yourself in the middle of Hania Street, Wellington; outside the church, to the left of the Rimutakas, to the right of Taputeranga island.
Take these fresh bay leaves for your mother, this spiral for around your wrist –
I’ll be holding it tight the whole way.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Airini Beautrais
Jenny Bornholdt
Amy Brown
Lynn Davidson
Emily Dobson
Fiona Farrell
Cliff Fell
Janis Freegard
Helen Heath
Anne Kennedy
Stefanie Lash
Jan Lauwereyns
Vana Manasiadis  
Talia Marshall
James McNaughton
Alice Miller
Gregory O’Brien
Frances Samuel
Robyn Schiff
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Chris Tse
Nick Twemlow
Ashleigh Young

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