A blue book cover featuring a map with continents in different colours and a dotted line tracking from one red X in Greece to another on the east coast of Australia. The title is overlain in black text

Zeny Giles

Her new novel Castellorizo to Woolloomooloo continues Zeny Giles’ exploration of migrants in Australia. When two children enrol in Plunkett Street Primary in 1924 a surprising story follows.

An older woman with short grey hair and a fleecy blue jacket stands smiling on a beach

Zeny Giles (Zenovia Doratis) was born in Sydney. Her father was from Cyprus, her mother from the Dodecanese island of Castellorizo. In 1981 she won The Age Short Story competition. Miracle of the Waters was published by Penguin in 1989.

Zeny is an enthusiast for the Hunter Valley where she has lived for most of her life. In 1984/5 her play Zorica was performed in local schools. In 1997 she collaborated with Allan Chawner to produce the exhibition Journey of Visions, and with Michael Atherton to write the text of the Inside the Storm. Her celebration of Newcastle, Caught in the Light, was published by Catchfire Press in 2002. Collections of her poems, ‘Blackbutt Honey’ and ‘A Little More Honey’ were published by Koel Koel in 2005 and 2016. In 2017 Owl Publishing included her poems ‘Parables’ as part of their chapbook series.

For many years Zeny has been an active member of Catchfire Press, a local cooperative which has featured the stories and poems of Hunter Valley writers. Wedding Dance was published by Koel Koel in 2009, Daughters of Catellorizo (Koel Koel 2013) and Her Mother Tongue, the third book in the trilogy, returns to look at the fate of some of the marriages from the world of Wedding Dance. In 2009, Zeny received a special mention in the Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards for her writing typified by her three books.

Zeny Giles

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