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Gail Holst-Warhaft

Gail Holst-Warhaft is a writer, translator, musicologist and modern Greek scholar. She was born in Australia and spent six years in Greece, working as a musician and journalist, and playing harpsichord with Mikis Theodorakis, Dionysios Savvopoulos and Mariza Koch. Her book, "Road to Rembetika", was the first study in English of the urban blues of Greece. Written in 1975, it is now in its 5th edition in Greek and English and has been translated into German and Turkish. In 1983 she helped make a documentary about the rembetika music narrated by Anthony Quinn and based on her book.Ê Her second book, "Theodorakis: Myth and Politics in Modern Greek Music" has also been translated into Greek. It deals with the troubled but exciting period when Theodorakis's music became a symbol of resistance to political repression in Greece. During her years in Greece, Holst-Warhaft was the representative of the Australian newspaper Nation Review, for which she wrote articles on Greek politics and music. In 1980, after touring the world with the orchestra of Mariza Koch, she married Zellman Warhaft, a professor in the Engineering School at Cornell and settled in Ithaca. She lectured in the Classics Department at Cornell and did a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. Her dissertation research on women's laments for the dead became the subject of her next book: "Dangerous Voices: Women's Laments and Greek Literature". Since living in Ithaca, Holst-Warhaft has translated a number of Greece's leading poets and novelists into English. In the 1980's she also began writing her own poetry and has recently completed her first anthology. She has also recently completed a new book on the politics of mourning. She will spend the academic year 1998-99 with her family in Princeton where she has a fellowship at the Program in Hellenic Studies.

Since her arrival in Ithaca, Holst-Warhaft has been involved with the Institute for European Studies, and has organized a series of workshops on the Balkans. She has also taught courses in the Classics and Comparative Literature Departments at Cornell on Greek poetry, mythology, ancient Greek drama and modern Greek language. She has two young children and spends as much time as possible enjoying them.
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