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Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Little Mayhem with Barbara Bonfigli, Author of Cafe Tempest

What Inspired the Idea for the Book and Inspired Me to Write It by Barbara Bonfigli

Since first traveling to Europe between college semesters I've been trying to pack lightly and take off whenever the chance arises. So it wasn't surprising that when I started to write my first novel I was sitting on a beach on Greek island with no intention of moving until my cash wore out. Wondrous landscapes and fantastical characters surrounded me. Theatre is my family tree; my mother was an actress, my great uncles were in Vaudeville and I re-lived my English incarnation as Lady Bracknell in my high school production of "The Importance of Being Earnest."

Nothing is more fun than rehearsals. Greeks eating and acting and discussing every imaginable subject seemed like the perfect co-conspirators on my imaginary island. Love of course is always a part of my life; my friends and my lovers are the stars of the show.

Besides loving to write, I have some perspectives -- on love, travel, spirituality -- that I wanted to share and I hit upon the fictional memoir as a venue that would give me the latitude to do that. I love writing songs too, but those are one story at a time.

Then there is Proust, who said-- you read a novel to learn about yourself. I think you write one for the same reason.

To learn about Barbara Bonfigli and Café Tempest, feel free to visit any of these sites.

Barbara Bonfigli’s website –
Order Café Tempest directly from the publisher - or from Amazoné-Tempest-Adventures-Small-Island/dp/0981645313
To see the complete tour schedule visit

About Barbara Bonfigli

Barbara is an author, lyricist and theatrical producer. When she isn’t writing songs or travel articles, or producing shows, she packs some French roast and catches a plane to Athens. Then a ferry or a hydrofoil to... but that's classified.

She hitchhiked to Greece in her first nomadic summer, and discovered her native land. She’s been exploring it ever since -- hiking in the Pelion, kayaking in the Dodecanese, sailing the Aegean. In a tiny seaside taverna, over fried kalamari and a pitcher of homemade red, a few Greek families and she watched Obama conquer Berlin.

Maps are her recreational drug of choice. After wearing out five passports and four continents she uncorked her memories and imagination -- and a bottle or two of retsina -- to write her first novel, "Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island". It's a kind of "A Year in Provence" meets "Zorba the Greek". You are invited to the mythical island of Pharos, to laugh and dance in the hammock, not the cradle of Western civilization.

About Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island

What is it about Greece that makes it so exotic, so romantic, so tantalizing that it’s right at the top of everybody’s bucket list – the one foreign land they’re longing to visit? Our dreams are made on Never on Sunday, Zorba the Greek, and more recently My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mama Mia.

Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island is a witty, evocative, beautifully written novel that puts you right in the heart of Greek island life. It’s so alive with the sights and smells and tastes and characters of Greece that you can pick it up and start your Mediterranean vacation on page one. On a deeper level, the book is filled with the kinds of observations, reflections, and arc of self-discovery that make Eat, Pray, Love so compelling.

“Welcome to Pharos. Laugh and dance in the hammock—not the cradle—of Western civilization,” says author, lyricist, and theatrical producer Barbara Bonfigli. “I’ve been falling in love with Greece since I was old enough to drink retsina. But if Sarah hadn’t captured my imagination you’d never know how I feel about friendship, feta, and the abundance of grace that turns friends into lovers and fishermen into kings.”


When Sarah, a thirty-something American theatrical producer, is asked to direct the locals in their summer show, she picks Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. What follows is a hilarious adventure in casting, rehearsing, and consuming. Her neighbors are excited about acting but delirious about eating. Their rehearsals in a deconsecrated church become a feast in four acts.
Armed with a sizzling wit, a dangerously limited Greek vocabulary, and a pitch-perfect ear for drama, Sarah navigates the major egos and minor storms of a cab driver Caliban, a postmaster Prospero, and a host of fishermen dukes and knaves.

When she falls in love, there are even trickier seas to navigate. Her own offstage romance provides an exhilarating, unpredictable counterpoint to Shakespeare’s story of magic, intrigue, and the power of love.

4 Moonbeams (comments):

Nikki Leigh said...

Hi Margay

I love to read books that I describing as "oozing with atmosphere" and this definitely qualified. For people who want to get insights into the people, food and drink of Greece - this is a great read. Its like taking a trip to a Greek island - on a budget I can handle :)

Nikki Leigh

Margay Leah Justice said...

Thank you, Nikki. I just want to thank Barbara for her post today. Thanks for being with us today, Barbara!

Barbara Bonfigli said...

Hi Margay. It was a very sunny spot on the tour for me. Thanks so much, barbara
And dear readers, visit to read more about me, the book, see an excerpt, and buy a copy for your beach chair, wherever it happens to be.
Opa! bb

Margay Leah Justice said...

Barbara, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit with us.