Her fi rst novel, The Life of Ismail Ferik Pasha (1989), was a literary sensation in Greece at the time and remains one of the most discussed works of fi ction of that extraordinary decade. Not only does Greek postmodernism (traceable back to the beginning of the 1970s in the early work of Nasos Vayenas and others, including Galanaki herself) achieve a new sophistication in this work, but the Greek historical novel is also re-invented in such a way as to mount a direct challenge to the standard historiography of Modern Greece. The Cretan hero is born into a Christian family, baptised and brought up till the age of fi ve as a Christian. Taken prisoner by the Egyptians during the 1821 Revolution, he becomes a Muslim and a general in the Ott oman forces. In this guise, he returns to his native island – as a foreigner and a conqueror – many years later. Ismail Ferik Pasha is at once traitor and hero. He has to live with two identities: one Christian, Greek and identifi ed with his native place; the other Ott oman and Muslim. And he resists, to the end, having to choose between them.