Linghams presents Victoria Hislop in conversation at Neston Club 03/10/23
3 October @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
In her irresistible new novel, Sunday Times No 1 bestselling author Victoria Hislop shines a light on the questionable acquisition of cultural treasures and the price people – andcountries – will pay to cling on to them.
When Helena inherits her grandparents’ apartment in Athens, she is overwhelmed with memories of the summers she spent there as a child, when Greece was under a brutal military dictatorship.
Her remote, cruel grandfather was one of the regime’s generals and as she sifts through the dusty rooms, Helena discovers an array of valuable objects and antiquities. How did her grandfather amass such a trove? What human price was paid for them?
Helena’s desire to find answers about her heritage dovetails with a growing curiosity for archaeology, ignited by a summer spent with volunteers on a dig on an Aegean island. Their finds fuel her determination to protect the precious fragments recovered from the baked earth – and to understand the origins of her grandfather’s collection.
Helena’s attempt to make amends for some of her grandfather’s actions sees her wrestle with the meaning of ‘home’, both in relation to looted objects of antiquity … and herself.
Victoria Hislop said, ‘I have been down a long and exciting path to write The Figurine. I had admired the beauty of the Cycladic figurine for so many years and began to understand what a huge influence they had on 20th century art. I also began to realise that their beauty has an irresistible and seductive power and wanted to write about the crime that such beauty and antiquity can drive people to.
My story is set during the period of the Junta, an army dictatorship that committed many crimes,
effectively robbing people of their lives and driving others into exile. To me there seemed to be a striking parallel.
I hope readers will be pulled into this period of history, and the question of where something, or someone, really belongs.
Victoria Hislop is the multi-million copy bestselling author of eight books, including The Island, The Return, The Thread, The Sunrise, Those Who are Loved, The Last Dance and Other Stories and Cartes Postales from Greece. Her books have been translated into forty languages. Her most recent novel, One August Night, returned to Crete in the long-anticipated sequel to The Island and spent twelve weeks in the Top 10 hardback fiction charts.
Victoria was executive producer on the adaptations of The Island, Cartes Postales and One August Night for Greek television – and recently took part in Dancing with the Stars, also on Greek television.
Victoria divides her time between England and Greece and, in 2020, was granted honorary citizenship by the President of Greece. She was recently granted an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Sheffield and is patron of Knossos 2025, which has raised funds to rebuild the new research centre at one of Greece’s most significant archaeological sites. She is also on the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles.