Lectures & Panels
Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 7 PM
Reservations Begin: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 9 AM
Patrick Leigh Fermor in Greece
In collaboration with The New York Review of Books
With Artemis Cooper, author, and Ben Downing, travel writer and poet
Introduction by: Edwin Frank, the NYRB Classics series editor
Artemis Cooper, the biographer of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, and the travel writer and poet Ben Downing discussed Leigh Fermor’s colorful life as a writer, soldier, and adventurer. The conversation focused on his long career in Greece, and topics included his 1935 stay on Mount Athos; his explorations of the Rhodope Mountains, Thrace, and Athens; his experiences during World War II (particularly those in occupied Crete and involving the capture of General Kreipe); and his life in Hydra in the house of Nicos Kiriacou Ghika. The discussion also included Fermor’s books Mani and Roumeli, the Helleno-Romaic dilemma, and his decision to leave his house in Kardamyli to the Benaki Museum.
Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure was published in the United States by New York Review Books in October 2013.
Artemis Cooper is the author of several books, including Cairo in the War, 1939–1945; the authorized biography of Elizabeth David, Writing at the Kitchen Table; and with her husband, the historian Antony Beevor, Paris After the Liberation, 1944–1949. Among the volumes she has edited are Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Words of Mercury and the correspondence between Evelyn Waugh and Cooper’s grandmother, Lady Diana Cooper.
Ben Downing is the author of a book of poems, The Calligraphy Shop, and a biography, Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross, which was published earlier this year by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. He has written extensively on British travel
writing, including two essays—one for The New Criterion and the other for The Paris Review—on Patrick Leigh Fermor, whom he knew slightly during the last decade of his life. He is also the co-editor of the journal Parnassus and has taught at Columbia, Bryn Mawr, and the 92nd St. Y.
The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
South Court Auditorium
Discussion on October 29, 2013: Costas Picadas
Artemis Cooper: Nella Beevor