Wild Abandon

by Jennifer Barclay

Wild Abandon

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About this book

'There's something about abandoned places which moves me and captures the imagination.' So says seasoned travel writer Jennifer Barclay as she walks with her dog and her backpack through the deserted spaces of the Dodecanese, islands that were once bustling but are now half forgotten and reclaimed by the wild due to a mix of misfortune and the lure of opportunity elsewhere. Join her on a journey through abandoned villages and farms, cave-houses and captains' mansions, the homes of displaced Muslim fishermen and poets, as she discovers beauty in the ruins, emptiness and silence, and inspiration in the stories of people's lives.
A long-term resident of Greece, Jennifer Barclay spent more than four years researching Wild Abandon, visiting islands multiple times and talking to local people to hear their stories. She travels from the very west to the very east of the Dodecanese, from the very south almost to the very north, taking in some of the smallest and the biggest islands, and highlighting different stories along the way to show the complex history behind these havens of tranquillity. She discovers a villa intended for Benito Mussolini's retirement, an island that links a gramophone from St Petersburg and a portrait in the American National Gallery via a pack of cigarettes, and reflects on the days when an economy based on sponges and burnt rock supported thousands.
Wild Abandon is an elegy in praise of abandoned places and a search for lost knowledge through the wildest and most deserted locations.

About the author

After growing up in a village in the Pennines, Jennifer Barclay studied Ancient Greek at grammar school and English at Oxford. She then lived for a year in Athens and has travelled widely in the Greek islands, settling on Tilos, a small island in the Dodecanese, in 2011 to work from home and write. She now lives surrounded by hills and the sea, travelling often to other islands with her dog, Lisa. She has written about her life in Greece in her books Falling in Honey and An Octopus in my Ouzo, and in publications including The Times, Metro, The Daily Mail and Psychologies. She has appeared on Greek television and been interviewed across Greek media, and given talks to the Scottish Hellenic Society. www.octopus-in-my-ouzo.blogspot.com

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Chapter 1 Goats and Ghosts: Tilos
Chapter 2 The Maker and Breaker of Fortunes: Nisyros
Chapter 3 Faith in Water: Kos
Chapter 4 Gold From the Sea: Kalymnos
Chapter 5 Bee Windows and Burning Rocks: Astypalea
Chapter 6 When the Bird Flies: Rhodes
Chapter 7 Bridge of Light: Kastellorizo
Chapter 8 Roads to Nowhere: Halki
Chapter 9 Clouds Over Olympos: Karpathos
Chapter 10 No More Than Stories: Kasos
Chapter 11 Enough: Arki
Chapter 12 Epilogue