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International Women’s Day: 10 Greek-American Authors

by Maria A. Karamitsos   ·  2 months ago   ·  
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Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s celebrate with 10 more Greek-American Women Authors to add to your reading list.

International Women’s Day: 10 Greek-American Women Authors

It’s International Women’s Day! Last year for Women’s History Month, I featured 10 Greek-American women authors. Here are 10 more to add to your list.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Amalia Gouvitsas Balch

Born in Greece in the 1950s, Amalia was adopted by an American family. She always wanted to know where she came from. Later she learned that she is among the thousands of Greek adoptees from this era searching for their families.

She chronicled her story in Lost Child of Greece: An Orphan’s Incredible Journey Home, (independently published, 2012). Read an interview with her here. In 2023, she published an updated version of the story in Greek, called Τα Μάτια της Μάνας Μου (My Mother’s Eyes) (Weaving Waves Publications). Amalia explores her history, from her days in the orphanage, to her baptism, life with a foster family, then her adopted family. With her enduring faith as her guide, we follow her quest to learn the truth and things she discovered along the way.

Book cover for Ta Matia tis Manas Mou by Amalia Gouvitsas Balch. Image of a young girl with short hair, looking serious or scared. My Greek Books February 2024

Stephanie Cotsirilos

A Chicago native, Stephanie earned degrees in comparative literature and music from Brown and Yale Universities. After, she moved to New York for a career on and off Broadway, where she created the role of “The Critic” in the Tony Award-winning musical, ‘Nine’. She wrote songs and scripts produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Writers Theatre, and other spaces. She’s also an attorney. She now lives in Maine and writes poetry, fiction, and essays.

Her novella, My Xanthi (independently published, 2023) is a powerful story about life, family, justice, and war—and the decisions we make that sometimes challenge our principles. It packs a punch and will draw you in from the first moment and keep you on the edge of your seat. The ending knocked me off my feet. Website

My Greek Books August 2023_My Xanthi by Stephanie Cotsirilos book cover_image of yellow block on top and lower portion is a blue illustration of women with long hair

Joanna Eleftheriou

Born in Queens, NY to a Greek-Cypriot father and a Greek-American mother, in her teen years, Joanna Eleftheriou moved to Cyprus with her family but returned to the US to attend university. She earned a doctorate in creative writing from the University of Missouri and is an Assistant Professor of English at Christopher Newport University in Virginia Beach, VA. She also teaches Greek language and culture at Writing Workshops in Greece

Joanna bares her soul in the essay collection, This Way Back (West Virginia University Press, 2020). She beautifully captures that sense of nostos, our longing for home. But what is home? She invites us deep into her world–one in which she not only finds herself, but we find ourselves. In these pages, she finds the courage to be her true self, and gives us the courage to be who we are. From unsent letters to her father, tales of straddling cultures and homes, to finding her true place in the world, she weaves and warps her tapestry, and adds dimension to our own. Website

Greek-American Author Joanna Eleftheriou_This Way Back_Greek American Women Authors International Women's Day. Image of a village in Cyprus with tall cypress trees, homes, and mountains in the back

Tassie Kalas

Born and raised in Houston, TX to a Greek immigrant father and Greek-American mother, Author Tassie Kalas is also a realtor. She’s the author of Yaya’s Big Black Purse: Drama of a Greek Mama (Van Velzer Press, 2021). It’s a collection of short stories based on real life that covers four generations of a traditional Greek family. It focuses on one member’s modern-day struggles as she grows up, grows older, and finally finds her voice—at the same time she’s about to lose her mind. Tassie’s reflections on growing up Greek, to becoming a young mom, then a mom with grown children are heartfelt. These poignant stories will take you back through your own life. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry—and you’ll clamor for more. Website

My Greek Books December 2023_YaYa's Big Black Purse by Tassie Kalas book cover_Greek American Women Authors for International Women's Day

K.L. Karavatos

California-based Author K.L. Karavatos is a plaintiff attorney by day. Her paternal grandparents came to the US from Crete, armed with stories that have shaped the history of Crete—and her family. She shares her family history through tumultuous years in Crete, including Ottoman occupation, brutality, fights for freedom, and separation. From hiding in a cave to coming to America, this book is full of history—things you won’t find in history books.

Cretan Courage: The Milatos Cave and Beyond (Gatekeeper Press, 2022) chronicles heartbreaking stories of pain, separation, loss, struggle, and survival—battles for life, home, and country—there’s so much more for us to learn—and learn from. Cretan tenacity and resilience are legendary and Cretan Courage reminds us why. Author Page

My Greek Books_October 2022_Cretan Courage by KL Karavatos

Sophia Kouidou-Giles

Following a thirty-plus-year career in child welfare, Sophia Kouidou-Giles decided to write her memoir. Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past (She Writes Press, 2021) delves into her childhood living in two worlds shrouded by the mystery of her parents’ divorce and her custody.

She reimagines Greek myth in An Unexpected Ally:  A Greek Tale of Love, Revenge, and Redemption (She Writes Press, 2023). We follow Circe, as the dolphins transport her to Delos to help mend her broken heart after Odysseus’ departure. In this fresh take, love, hate, and jealousy are channeled into a compelling story of sisterhood. Watch for her forthcoming novel, Circle of Peace: A Greek Tale of Perse’s Great Hall (She Writes Press). Website

Greek American Women Authors for International Women's Day_ cover of An Unexpected Ally by Sophia-Kouidou Giles_Greek American Women Authors for Women's History Month. Image of a blue vase and a red vase with the head of a Greek statue

Sylvia Leontaritis

Also known as Orthodox Mom, Sylvia Leontaritis is an avid blogger about family, motherhood, life, and all its adventures, under the umbrella of her Orthodox Faith. She’s also the author of Songs of Praise, A Psalter Devotional for Orthodox Women. Her novel, Stealing Freedom (September House Press, 2022), set on Kalymnos in WWII, is a heartwarming story full of history, family, and love. The coming-of-age story reminds us of the pure ideals of youth, the fearlessness in the fight for what’s right, and the feeling of immortality. I loved how the girls became part of the Resistance, especially at a time when girls were expected to just sit home and do chores while their brothers went out to defend and save the world. Girls can do great things! This is a story of hope and courage. Website

My Greek Books May 2022_Stealing Freedom by Sylvia Leontaritis_Greek American Women Authors for International Women's Day

Stella Nahatis

Born in Northern Greece, Stella Nahatis was uprooted at the age of 11. Following the death of her parents, she was adopted by a Greek-American family and moved to the States. After assimilating into American life, she excelled in school, and had a long career in flight services with Trans World Airlines. She’s also an avid volunteer. Stella and her husband live in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.

Her memoir, Taxi to America: A Greek Orphan’s Adoption Journey, (independently published, 2023) reveals the story of a childhood interrupted and the separation of sisters. It’s the story of how fate tore two young girls from the only life they knew and sent them to the unknown. Stella shares her struggles as a young girl who not only had to assimilate into a new family, but also into a new country. This story will pierce your heart, yet, it’s a story of resilience, perseverance, and the power of family bonds. Website

My Greek Books April 2023 Reads_Taxi to America by Stella Nahatis_Greek American Women Authors for Women's History Month

Anastasia Rubis

Anastasia Rubis has worked as an advertising and PR executive in Manhattan, an adjunct professor of English, and a journalist. Her work has appeared in New York Times, Huffington Post, New York Observer, and literary journals. She also co-wrote and co-directed a 13-minute documentary titled “Breakfast Lunch Dinner: The Greek Diner Story” on YouTube. She and her family live in New Jersey and spend their summers in Greece.

Out this month, Oriana: A Novel of Oriana Fallaci (Delphinium Press, 2024) is a biographical novel about the life of renowned Italian Journalist Oriana Fallaci as well as her relationship with Greek Activist & Poet Alexander Panagoulis. I did not know of Oriana Fallaci, even though she was known as a master interviewer and broke through the proverbial glass ceiling to be among the best in her field. After reading, I researched Oriana, viewed her photos and interview clips. In this stunning debut, Anastasia skillfully captures the essence of Oriana. I envisioned her just as she was. Women will identify with Oriana’s reflections on life. Oriana is a true role model, not just for journalists, but for women in general. Website

My Greek Books March 2024_Cover of Oriana by Anastasia Rubis. Image of a balcony overlooking the sea, with 2 chairs, a small table. Coffee cups and a typewriter on top.

Christina Vourcos

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Christina is of Greek and Mexican descent and draws influence from her two rich cultures. She traces her Greek roots to the island of Lesvos. Christina loves connecting to her cultures through food, faith, music, film, and reading. 

She began her career as an independently published author when she published her first book as a Kindle Vella serial, Liberty Calling (2021).  Her next serial novel, called Never Forget, came out in 2022.  She’s also published a poetry and short story collection called Write from the Heart, Edit with Precise Measure (2022). Another Kindle Vella nonfiction serial about writing with a mental health focus, called Writing Matters and So Do You (2023). Her latest, Dive Within (2024), is a collection of poetry written as she battled lymphoma and the accompanying mental health struggles. It also includes a a novel-in-verse featuring fictional characters with similar challenges. She hopes these writings will help others find their healing path. Website

Greek American Women Authors for Women's History Month_Cover of Dive Within by Christina Vourcos. Image of tide rushing in on the beach

International Women’s Day Honoring Greek-American Women Authors

There are many more talented Greek women authors and other great books to explore. For more author and book recommendations, email me.


Read more:

Poet Spotlight: Meet Greek-American Marigo J. Stathis

Author Spotlight: Greek-American Memoirist Irene Sardanis


Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos is a journalist, author, and poet. She's the founder & former publisher/editor of WindyCity Greek magazine and former associate editor & senior writer for The Greek Star newspaper. Maria currently pens a literary column for NEO magazine and also contributes to Greek City Times and TripFiction. Her work has been published in The Magic of Us-A Moms Who Write Poetry Anthology, The Pen Poetry Magazine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, Highland Park Poetry, GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, Harlots Sauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, KPHTH magazine, XPAT Athens, and more. Maria has contributed to two books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes and The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook. She's currently working on her 1st novel.

11 Comments

  1. Dear Maria,
    Thank you for all you do for Greek writers. You are a true, dedicated champion, and author yourself.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful stories! Stay well.

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