Ancient Crete culture inspires

Karen Martin will launch her debut novel in Woodend next month.

A year-long stay on the Greek island of Crete led Woodend’s Karen Martin to pen her first novel.
The independent theatre director and writer was planning to spend the year writing a play but discovered Minoan history instead.

“When I arrived in Crete in 2016, I learnt about the Minoans – an amazing matriarchal civilisation that I had never previously heard about,” the author told the Express.
“I took inspiration from my research of Crete’s history but also the land and people themselves.”

Dancing the Labyrinth moves between contemporary and ancient Crete in this tale of a young woman from an abusive background who discovers the veiled history of Europe’s most advanced civilisation of the Bronze Age.
“It is about a community of women who understand that there is this change happening and the change is patriarchy,” Martin said.
“As a matriarchal society they were an amazing culture. They traded widely, and they didn’t have weapons of war.”

Dancing the Labyrinth is a novel that celebrates women’s history, courage, friendship and hope. It is published in both English and Greek.
The English version will be launched July 25 and available by ordering through bookshops or online as a paperback or e-book. People can sign up for Martin’s newsletter through her website and receive details.
A local launch will be held at the Victoria Hotel in Woodend on August 11 at 7pm. Bookings via