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My main author blog: www.octopus-in-my-ouzo.blogspot.com
Photos and review quotes of my latest book at: www.wild-abandon-dodecanese.blogspot.com
Business website: www.jenniferbarclaybooks.com
I've had articles and excerpts published in The Times, Metro, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, Jetaway, Food and Travel, Thomas Cook Travel, Wanderlust online, Skyscanner, CNN Travel online, Blue Wings, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, and been interviewed on BBC Radio, Talk Radio Europe, Australian national radio and Korean television. FALLING IN HONEY featured in Heat magazine's Top 5 Books, the Mail on Sunday's You magazine and the Daily Express, and reached #16 in Travel Writing on Amazon.co.uk. AN OCTOPUS IN MY OUZO was called 'poetic, touching and enlightening' by one of my literary heroes, Anne Zouroudi. Victoria Hislop called WILD ABANDON 'vivid and intoxicating'.
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When Jennifer moves alone into the Honey Factory on a tiny Greek island, bringing a laptop, her hiking boots and plans for a peaceful life, she has no idea what surprises are in store.
Diving into an exciting new life with a fisherman, she learns something every day. Joining the dancing at local festivals and helping at a café on the beach, surviving winter storms and finding a canine companion, she is faced with both challenges and rewards, and discovers that to become an island woman she must live small and think big.
"A must-read for anyone who loves the Greek islands" - Richard Clark
'There's something about abandoned places which moves me and captures the imagination.' So says seasoned travel writer Jennifer Barclay as she walks with her dog and her backpack through the deserted spaces of the Dodecanese, islands that were once bustling but are now half forgotten and reclaimed by the wild due to a mix of misfortune and the lure of opportunity elsewhere. Join her on a journey through abandoned villages and farms, cave-houses and captains' mansions, the homes of displaced Muslim fishermen and poets, as she discovers beauty in the ruins, emptiness and silence, and inspiration in the stories of people's lives.
A long-term resident of Greece, Jennifer Barclay spent more than four years researching Wild Abandon, visiting islands multiple times and talking to local people to hear their stories. She travels from the very west to the very east of the Dodecanese, from the very south almost to the very north, taking in some of the smallest and the biggest islands, and highlighting different stories along the way to show the complex history behind these havens of tranquillity. She discovers a villa intended for Benito Mussolini's retirement, an island that links a gramophone from St Petersburg and a portrait in the American National Gallery via a pack of cigarettes, and reflects on the days when an economy based on sponges and burnt rock supported thousands.
Wild Abandon is an elegy in praise of abandoned places and a search for lost knowledge through the wildest and most deserted locations.
One heartbroken winter, Jennifer decides to act on her dream of moving to a tiny Greek island – because life is too short not to reach out for what makes us happy.
Funny, romantic and full of surprising twists, Falling in Honey is a story about relationships, tzatziki, adventures, swimming, Greek dancing, starfish… and a bumpy but beautiful journey into Mediterranean sunshine.
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Prepare your senses for a feast of delicious food scenes in literature accompanied with recipes to bring them to life in your very own kitchen, including Turkish delight Edmund wouldn’t be able to resist, roast goose the Cratchits would be proud of and cucumber sandwiches Algernon would be loath to share.
This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys spending their days with a book in one hand and a saucepan in the other.
'a warm and funny journey... an excellent primer' - Blue Wings magazine
'searches for the true spirit of South Korea' - Living Abroad magazine
‘fresh, amusing and light-hearted’ Simon Winchester
‘a very lively account... invaluable and entertaining reading for any prospective visitor’ Margaret Drabble
‘One woman’s touching and humorous voyage to the very heart of Korea’ Anna Nicholas
‘entertaining, endearing and educational’ – South China Morning Post
When Jennifer Barclay first arrives in Seoul at the start of the hot and humid summer, she feels completely out of her depth. But as she leaves the South Korean capital and sets off alone to explore the country, she begins to fall in love with it.
Travelling through landscapes of bright green rice fields stalked by white egrets, she has an intimate brush with Korea’s ancient history and is invited to stay in Buddhist temples hidden in forest-covered, misty mountains. Discovering the joys of hiking in the national parks, she camps on sandy beaches and sleeps on strangers’ floors in fishing villages. She gets hooked on the national dish, kimchi, learns to love the madness of Seoul and to drink Korean-style.
This is the summer of 2000, as a peace summit heralds a new era for a country divided for half a century. While media attention is so often focused on the secret state of North Korea, she was determined to learn more about free and peace-loving South Korea. And the people she met along the way were determined that she would leave with happy memories.
This book (with very small amendments) was first published in 2008 as Meeting Mr Kim: Or How I Went to Korea and Learned to Love Kimchi.
AWOL: absent without leave; absent from one’s post or duty without official permission but without intending to desert.
Originally a military term, it gradually entered the vernacular for when someone goes missing unexpectedly. Jennifer Barclay and Amy Logan thought it fit well with the kind of travel pieces they wanted to publish--irreverent but thoughtful, emotionally honest and opinionated, bold and provocative.
For those who dream of having no fixed address, and those happy simply to read about it, AWOL is filled with entertaining, enriching and edifying stories of people getting away from the familiar. AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds is dedicated to the perspectives we gain when away from our regular circumstances.