A Theatre for Dreamers

By Polly Samson,

Book cover of A Theatre for Dreamers

Book description

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'Delicious' Nigella Lawson
'Clever and beguiling' Guardian
'Sublime and immersive' Jojo Moyes

Erica is eighteen and ready for freedom. It's the summer of 1960 when she lands on the sun-baked Greek island of Hydra where she is swept up in a circle of bohemian poets, painters,…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

3 authors picked A Theatre for Dreamers as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A Theatre for Dreamers captures the halcyon days of the 60s artistic community on the Greek Island of Hydra. It focuses on the international bohemian set, including the authors Charmian Clift and George Johnston. Among the artists, poets and hangers-on are a Norwegian couple—Axel Jensen and Marianne Ihlen—and a young, charismatic Canadian by the name of Leonard Cohen. It is narrated by the likable ingenue Erica, a novitiate novelist in her late teens whose mother’s dying wish was for her daughter to go off on an adventure. Erica is like Nick Carraway, mainly on the periphery of events, observing and…

Get lost on the Greek Isle of Hydra among an artistic commune of Bohemian proportion. The year is 1960. One of the characters in the book is real-life songwriter Leonard Cohen, who actually lived on the island at the time. Author Polly Samson and legendary songwriter/instrumentalist David Gilmour wrote the song Yes I Have Ghosts which is a line from the book. In an interview with American Songwriter, Samson said while she was writing the book, she wandered through a cemetery asking questions of her characters. She asked, “Do you believe in ghosts?” And one of her characters responded, “Yes…

From Jennifer's list on stories that come with music.

Wouldn’t it have been cool to have been hanging on Hydra in the early Sixties, when writers and artists – and the young Leonard Cohen – made the Greek island their home? Yes and no, says Samson, in this beautifully observed account. Samson’s powers of description constantly delight and combine with painstaking research to re-create those high times so vividly that the reader can sometimes forget this is actually fiction.

Want books like A Theatre for Dreamers?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like A Theatre for Dreamers.

Browse books like A Theatre for Dreamers

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, coming of age, and bildungsroman?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, coming of age, and bildungsroman.

Romantic Love Explore 892 books about romantic love
Coming Of Age Explore 1,286 books about coming of age
Bildungsroman Explore 312 books about bildungsroman