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Auguste Corteau

The Book of Katerina

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Audiobook edition

Narrated by The Durrells actress Anna Savva.

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Translated from Greek by Claire Papamichail.


My name is Katerina, and I died by a route dark and lonely, for there was too much in me I could bear no longer. 

In this acclaimed Greek novel, Auguste Corteau imagines his own mother’s inner life, observing with wit and earthy humour the saga of her extended family’s ups and downs in the city of Thessaloniki over three generations.

From the poverty of the early years through to affluence and aspirations of grandeur, Katerina drags her husband and son into the chaos of her life: sicknesses are hidden, siblings fight for love and attention while feckless husbands and unwanted children are riven through the family story.

The Book of Katerina is a gleefully sardonic novel about illness and family, and how we can never quite cure ourselves of either.” - GLEN JAMES BROWN, author of the Portico- and Orwell-shortlisted novel, Ironopolis


CORTEAU is the pen name of Petros Hatzopoulos. Born in Thessaloniki in 1979, he has lived for the last decade in Athens. He is the author of fourteen novels as well as plays, novellas and short story collections and is a recipient of the Greek National Book Award for Children’s Literature. He has also translated more than thirty works of literature into Greek, from Nabokov’s Lolita to Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Corteau, an LGBT activist, in 2016 signed a Cohabitation Pact with his partner, the first same-sex couple to do so after the law was passed in the Greek Parliament.

Claire Papamichail was born in Athens in 1963. She studied Sociology and has worked as a freelance literary translator for more than thirty years. She lives in Athens.


Review by Jennifer Barclay