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At the crossroads of East and West, Salonica (now Thessaloniki) was an oasis in a swirl of conflicting powers and interests, a vibrant world of varied peoples, where Leon Sciaky grew up at the turn of the twentieth century. This Paul Dry Books rediscovered classic includes many photos courtesy of Leon Sciaky's son Peter, who has also written a short biographical sketch of his father's life in America.
"Farewell to Salonica is a fresh and charming book that throws a kindly light on a sector of human life unknown to most Americans." —New York Times
"A gallery of beautiful and quaint sketches, revealing fascinating aspects of civilization in a strange city where East met West and the ancient past met the future . . . It creates an atmosphere of expectation and wonder and enjoyment. Most of all, an atmosphere of living." —Christian Science Monitor
"An altogether charming book, so simply and truthfully written . . .The Salonica one reads about is not only a fascinating and complex city in which many national and cultural strains run side by side, but it is a critical city of Aegean politics. . . . The breakdown of the Turkish Empire and its consequences for Balkan affairs are better understood when one has read this book. But it is not the political value of the book that should be emphasized so much as its quiet charm, its unpretentious and easy portrayal of a cultural pattern through an account of an engaging family. . . A warm and softly luminous book." —The Nation
Leon Sciaky was born in 1894, when the Turkish flag still waved over Salonica. His family left their beloved but turbulent homeland in 1915, settling in New York City. Sciaky lived in America—mainly upstate New York—with his wife, Frances, and son until his death in 1958. He taught at a number of progressive schools and camps and, in his last years, owned and operated a school and camp with Frances.