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'The Island' Author Chooses Greece Instead Of Hollywood

 A much-awaited TV series started in Greece this week. It is the serialisation of Victoria Hislop 's novel The Island. What makes it especially gratifying is the fact that the bestselling author rejected six-figure offers from Hollywood to turn her debut novel about a leper colony off Crete into a blockbuster film.

The Island has sold more than 1m copies in Britain alone, won several awards and been translated into more than a dozen languages, but Hislop chose Greek TV to dramatise her story for a fraction of the fee. She said, "What I wanted, and will now get, is a chance to have a say in the TV series. I feel much happier with some of my input and knowing that the Greeks, who took the book to their heart, will care about making the series and keep loyally to the plot. I was simply not happy with the approaches from America. I was worried what might happen to my story and my characters."

The island of the title is Spinalonga, just off Crete. Schoolteacher Eleni is diagnosed with leprosy and is exiled to Spinalonga, leaving behind her husband and two beautiful daughters on Crete. Years later, Eleni's great-granddaughter Alexis returns to Crete to find answers to her family's mysteries.

The 26-part TV drama employed about 300 local actors and Hislop herself owns a house on Crete with her husband, Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye magazine.

Kudos to Victoria Hislop, I say!






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