HOMEA LONE RED APPLEIllustrations by Bill Papas

By AURELIA, Illustrated by Bill Papas


A Lone Red Apple is beautifully illustrated by Bill Papas, who exactly catches the joyous sauciness of the writing.

During the sixties, Bill Papas was the political cartoonist for The Guardian, Sunday Times, and Punch Magazaine in London. At the same time he wrote and illustrated innumerable children's books for Oxford University Press, several of which had Greek themes, as well as illustrating books by such luminaries as C.S. Lewis, Pope John Paul I, and Malcom Muggeridge for Collins Publishers.

Bill and Tessa left Greece in 1983, lived briefly in Switzerland, and then moved to Portland, Oregon. Sadly, Bill passed away in the summer of 2000. The most recent book produced by Bill and Tessa is Papas' Greece, a beautifully illustrated book that is an affectionate and humorous look at life in Greece during the seventies.


Papas' Greece Bill Papas and his wife, Tessa, went to Greece in 1969 on what was to be a year's sabbatical from his work as a political cartoonist with London's newspaper, "The Guardian." Instead, they bought property in Ermioni, established a charter cruise business, sold paintings, sailed from one beautiful bay to another in the Aegean and Ionian seas in warm weather, and lived the good, Greek life in villages during the winter. Their "sabbatical" lasted twelve glorious years.

Bill did not grow up with a good understanding of his Greek roots. Born in South Africa to Greek parents, he began his odyssey to discover his roots when he was about thirty-three. That was the year he became disillusioned with politics in the turbulent decade of the 1960's. At that time, Bill Papas was the best known political cartoonist in London and his work was syndicated world-wide. He was featured in London's "Guardian," "Punch Magazine" and "The Sunday Times." He became famous for drawing a highly political rodent to satirize the early 1960's takeover in Greece by the Colonels. In his cartoons, the rodent made constant. sarcastic pronouncements on the coup and the Colonels, and a ban was put on his work. Pundits then declared the "brave" Colonels were afraid of a little mouse and the cartoons were reinstated.

Before coming to London, he was also in the center of controversy covering the treason trials of Nelson Mandela for major publications in Africa. For a time, he and his cartoons were banned from both South Africa and Greece. His work, however, was gaining international attention even before he moved to London.

As a young man, Bill studied at art schools in London and Paris and supported himself by sketching street scenes. When he finished his studies, he satisfied his wanderlust by hitch-hiking in France, Germany, and Sweden, taking with him little more than his sketch pad and pencils. He spent about a year in each country.

Bill considered himself an "artistic reporter" and said he was "a recorder of people, places, and events." He wrote "A sketchbook commands respect, a degree of awe and instant communication in a way a camera cannot. It is a passport to people."

Papas' Greece
Bill and Tessa Papas moved to Portland in 1984 and no other city they have lived in has come under so much scrutiny by Bill's pen and brush. In 1987, Bill was invited by the Downtowner to produce a weekly drawing with a caption of Portland. This series ran for a year but Portland, Bill says, keeps growing and changing, fortunately mostly for the better, and he never tires of painting the city and its inhabitants.

Many of these watercolors and sketches are included in Papas' Portland and the book is a tribute to his and Tessa's adopted home. - FROM THE PUBLISHER

I became aware of his unique artistic vision when I wrote a cover story about his life for "Greek America Magazine." At the time I had just finished my manuscript for "A Lone Red Apple" and was thinking about asking Bill to do my cover. When I was writing the article, I had never spoken to Bill, but communicated with him by e-mail through his wife, Tessa.

The first time I actually talked to Bill was when he had finished the sketches for my book and I called his studio after unwrapping his work and marveling at my good fortune to have my story graced by his art. I thanked him profusely and told him how honored I was that he illustrated my story. Tessa had cautioned me previously that Bill did not like to talk on the phone.

I expected him to be brief and he was. He listened politely then said, "It was my pleasure." I was about to say goodbye, but there was a pause and he added "It was fun."

I never had the honor of meeting Bill Papas, although I had suggested to Tessa that someday all of us lovers of Greece would have to assemble at the Parthenon and go from there. Bill met an untimely death in June of 2000 at the age of 73 in a plane crash in Canada.

When I think about Bill Papas' art and his life, I remember his voice telling me "it was fun." I wonder if that would have been the way he would have summed up his bold, bountiful odyssey on the road he chose that was indeed less traveled.

A LONE RED APPLE"This is a delightful novel that takes the reader on an enchanting, magical journey to the white islands of the Cyclades. Told in a whimsical way, it is one of the most refreshing, original love stories ever about Greece and its immortal gods and goddesses."

Click here to read an excerpt from A LONE RED APPLE

The author is Aurelia, features writer for various magazines including "Greece in Print", and this is her debut novel, written in her distinctive and playful tongue-in-cheek style. Readers will hope that this is just one of many stories Aurelia plans to tell us about Greece, because it is a pure delight.

It is beautifully illustrated by world-renowned artist Bill Papas, a former cartoonist with "The London Times," who illustrated books for C.S. Lewis and Pope John Paul." - GREEK AMERICA MAGAZINE

A Lone Red Apple reads as a fun and accessible history and travel guide. It is a practical guide to Greece in the guise of a romantic novel. I was spell-bound... - THE ATHENS NEWS.....Click here for reviews

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