Susan Johnson


This is me: author, incurable Australian, friend, feminist, ambivalent mother skewered by love and struck by eternal wanderlust. I lived for many years in the UK, France and Greece and now find  myself living in Brisbane, Australia. I agree with Martin Amis that “the first thing that distinguishes a writer is that he is most alive when alone.” Except I am a woman, committed to writing the best prose I can, bringing books to you since 1986.


Aphrodite’s Breath is a strikingly original, funny and forensic examination of love and finding home, amid the stories of the people, olives and wonders of the Greek island of Kythera, which according to some versions of the myth is the birthplace of Aphrodite.

In life, as in myth, women are the ones who are supposed to stay home like Penelope, weaving at their looms, rather than leaving home like Odysseus. Meet eighty-five-year-old Barbara and her sixty-two-year-old writer-daughter Susan, who asked her mother-on a whim if she wanted to accompany her to live on the Greek island of Kythera. What follows is a moving unravelling of the mother-daughter relationship told in irresistible prose.

Susan says about her memoir: “My heart is in this book, my joys, losses and griefs, and I want to thank Kythera and my friends of 40 years standing for letting me ponder what I might be there, besides a blow-in writing a postcard, The weather is variable, wish you were here. Σε ευχαριστώ, Κύθηρα.

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