Beneath the Fig Leaves: A Memoir of Food, Family and Greece
by Olympia Panagiotopoulos
In 1955, in a village in Greece that was marred by war and poverty, Giannoula and Fotios Panagiotopoulos dreamed of providing a better life for their children. Australia, it was rumoured, was a land of opportunity where hard work brought reward. Leaving behind family and friends, they set off to make a new home on the other side of the world.
Half a lifetime later, under the shade of a fig tree and in the dappled Melbourne sunlight, Giannoula regales her youngest daughter, Olympia, with stories of her homeland and journey. An evocative exploration of the ties that bind, Beneath the Fig Leaves weaves an irresistible tapestry of family, food and history to stir the heart and senses.
About the Author
Born in Melbourne to Greek parents, Olympia Panagiotopoulos comes from a long line of storytellers who inspired in her a love of folklore, myths and legends. Themes of identity and belonging are central to her writing and she is a strong advocate for celebrating bold female characters – in story and in everyday life. When she is not writing, Olympia can be found tending her garden and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen and watching classic movies from the 30s and 40s. Her debut memoir, Beneath the Fig Leaves, is a vibrant and compelling tribute to her heritage and parents’ journey.