Mary Mavrogiannaki (Mary Black)
Mary Black was born in Herakleion, the largest city in Crete. Her earliest literary influences came from the Greek fairytales she heard, and the works of the Brothers Grimm, Hans-Christian Andersen and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Later influences included Jules Verne, Honoré de Balzac, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Alexandros Papadiamantis, their works read in a home full of the music of Mozart, Gershwin and Manos Hadjidakis. Captain Nemo, the Young Prince, and Hansel and Gretel became her companions. They formed the material from which she drew her stories for children.
Mary studied music and political science. For a number of years she wrote opinion articles for the local newspapers of Herakleion, and she began travelling to the places she describes in her stories. The first four books in the series Travels in Time: Minoan Crete, Venetian Crete, The Battle of Crete and Alexander the Great have been published in Greek by the Herakleion Municipality Press and have been translated into five languages. Three more books will soon go to press: The Trojan War, fantasy adventure The Magic Bible, and A Child’s Dream-Travels.
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