In 1951 the Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston left post-war London for Greece. Settling first on the island of Kalymnos, then Hydra, their plan was to live simply and focus on their writing. The result is two of Charmian Clift’s best known and most loved books, the memoirs Mermaid Singing and Peel Me a Lotus.
Peel Me a Lotus recounts Clift and Johnston’s move to Hydra where they bought a house and grappled with the chaos of domestic life and three children while also becoming the centre of an informal community of artists and writers. The group included Leonard Cohen, who became their lodger, and his girlfriend Marianne Ihlen.
‘Clift’s writing is an honest depiction of that ideal to which we all aspire — to live the dream. What a delight that she should have been discovered again.’ Jenny Coad, The Times
‘A really beautiful writer who just puts you right there.’ Polly Samson