Inspired by a visit to Spinalonga, the abandoned Greek leprosy colony, Victoria Hislop wrote The Island in 2005. It became an international number-one smash hit, published in thirty languages with over 5 million copies sold worldwide. It was also turned into a 26-part Greek TV series.
The powerful reaction to the book motivated Hislop to learn Greek, and become an ambassador for Lepra. Her affection for the Mediterranean led her next to Spain, writing about the painful secrets of its civil war in The Return, which hit the top of the bestseller charts in 2008.
In her third novel, The Thread, she returned to Greece to tell the extraordinary and turbulent tale of Thessaloniki and its people across the 20th century. Published in 2011 to widespread acclaim, it confirmed Hislop’s reputation as an inspirational storyteller, and was followed by her much-admired collection of Greek-set short stories, The Last Dance and Other Stories.
The Sunrise, published in 2015, is her fourth novel. Set in 1970s Cyprus, it revolves around two families trying to survive the Turkish invasion.
Hislop divides her time between England and Greece.