Greece Gives Novelist Victoria Hislop Honorary Greek Citizenship

The author of the bestselling novel "The Island" was granted Greek citizenship for promoting modern Greek history and culture.

Victoria Hislop, the renowned author of bestsellers including “The Island” and “Those Who Are Loved,” may officially consider herself Greek.

Greece’s President Katerina Sakellaropoulou has signed an honorary naturalization order allowing the 61-year-old novelist to claim Greek citizenship.


Hislop, who has a house in Crete where she spends several months a year, was granted Greek citizenship for promoting modern Greek history and culture, including the history of the tiny island of Spinalonga, off the coast of Crete, the last leper colony in Europe. Spinalonga served as the setting for her 2005 historical novel “The Island.”

The decree was published in the Greek government gazette.

Under Greek law, honorary naturalization may be granted to people “who have provided exceptional services to the country or whose naturalization serves the public interest.”

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and their immediate family were also recently granted honorary citizenship in part due their efforts to provide relief to the victims of the devastating 2018 wildfire in Mati, Attica.

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