In planning for his debut novel, Lucky's, Andrew Pippos did not need to look far for inspiration. This richly layered, sweeping saga documents the rise and fall of a family restaurant business over six decades.
Growing up, Andrew was a regular visitor to his family's café in regional Australia. The Pippos's Café De-Luxe operated in the remote New South Wales town of Brewarrina for more than eighty years. Andrew's early experiences at the Café De-Luxe laid the foundation of his work as a writer. His relatives-who emigrated from the island of Ithaca, home of the hero Odysseus-would regale him with their favourite stories from Greek mythology, and over the years, his love of legends evolved into a love of literature, which led Andrew to tell stories of his own.
The compelling role of the Greek-Australian café within modern Australian identity is increasingly documented in popular culture and history books alike. While sadly few exist now, for much of the second half of the twentieth century these cafés could be found on urban shopping streets and in rural country towns. They represented a new Australian zeitgeist and symbolised every-day multiculturalism. The Greek-Australian cafe milieu gave Andrew his earliest sense of community.
Lucky's is Andrew Pippos's debut novel. A former journalist, Andrew has a doctorate in Creative Writing and tutors at the University of Technology, Sydney. He lives in Sydney's inner west.
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The 39th Greek Festival of Sydney is devoting a day to presentations of recently-published books in English by Greek-Australian writers. Although very different in style and content, all the books are united by common themes of migration, displacement and identity. Presented by the Greek Festival of Sydney and UTS Journalism and Writing.10:00 AM