The Greek House by Christian Brechneff
The Story of a Painter's Love Affair with the Island of Sifnos

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Brechneff's narrative is an unadorned yet sensuous tribute to the adopted land and people that inspired his work.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A richly rewarding narrative about a young painter's love affair with the Greek island of Sifnos

When Christian Brechneff first set foot on the Greek island of Sifnos, it was the spring of 1972 and he was a twenty-one-year-old painter searching for artistic inspiration and a quiet place to work. There, this Swiss child of Russian émigrés, adrift and confused about his sexuality, found something extraordinary. In Sifnos, he found a muse, a subject he was to paint for years, and a sanctuary.
In The Greek House, Brechneff tells a funny, touching narrative about his relationship to Sifnos, writing with warmth about its unforgettable residents and the house he bought in a hilltop farm village. This is the story of how he fell in love with Greece, and how it became a haven from the complexities of his life in Western Europe and New York. It is the story of his village and of the island during the thirty-odd years he owned the house—from a time when there were barely any roads, to the arrival of the modern world with its tourists and high-speed boats and the euro. And it is the story of the end of the love affair—how the island changed and he changed, how he discovered he had outgrown Sifnos, or couldn't grow there anymore.
The Greek House is a celebration of place and an honest narrative of self-discovery. In its pages, a naïve and inexperienced young man comes into his own. Weaving himself into the life of the island, painting it year after year, he finds a place he can call home.

 

About Christian Brechneff

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Born in the Belgian Congo in 1950, Christian Brechneff was educated in Switzerland and the United States (St. Olaf College). In 1975 he received his master of arts degree from the Royal College of Art in London. He has exhibited in Switzerland, Spain, England, Germany, Sri Lanka, and the United States, and his paintings appear in public and private collections all over the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Brechneff is also the author of Homage: Encounters with the East, a book of travel drawings published in 2007. He lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.
 
Published June 11, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 305 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Greek House
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 20 2013

Brechneff's narrative is an unadorned yet sensuous tribute to the adopted land and people that inspired his work.

Read Full Review of The Greek House: The Story of... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 28 2013

...happily, the author seldom strays far from his beloved island refuge, even when its enduring entreaty begins to wane.

Read Full Review of The Greek House: The Story of... | See more reviews from Kirkus

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