MERMAID SINGING | PEEL ME A LOTUS by CHARMIAN CLIFT￼
“”Today we bought the house by the well. ”
I think no beauty has been as true for me as this beauty of rocks and sea and the beauty of mountains that rush up between the blue.
It seems to me that we have become simplified too, living here……Shedding so much, we are stripped to our bare selves, lighter, freer and impoverished of nothing.
The midwife was still smiling cheerfully as she tilted a bottle of ouzo into my mouth…….it was delicious. Pouring down my throat and running all sticky over my face and neck……
This is a time when I almost have to pinch myself to believe in my own existence.”
A memoir of living on a Greek island in the 1950s, evocative and intensely illuminating. Only Henry Miller’s classic Colossus of Maroussi comes close to capturing the spirit of Greece.
But Mermaid Singing is a vastly different book. The hugely underappreciated Australian writer, Charmian Clift, born in Kiama, delivers the daily routines of traditional island life as experienced by a bohemian family in prose that is as illuminating as the setting.
An unrivaled classic and a masterpiece of travel writing.