A Theatre for Dreamers is a novel about a place and a circle that have transfixed the world for decades.

1960. The world is dancing on the edge of revolution, and nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: its points the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.

Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels.

Burning with the heat and light of Greece, 'A Theatre for Dreamers' is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost – and the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.

'A Theatre for Dreamers' has been published in hardback in the UK.

An intoxicating novel set on Leonard Cohen's Hydra in 1960, a place and a bohemian society that has captivated the world for decades.

"Polly Samson has created such a dazzling evocation of an era and its mindset. Here, the island of Hydra is a geographical place but a psychological one too, populated by beautiful and damaged characters who pull you down into its pages for another café gossip, another moonlit swim, another drink. This book is a bohemian idyll meticulously drawn, and unsparingly exposed. It is like going away to paradise, then coming back rather wiser. You don't read this book – you live it"
Marina Hyde

"She is so good at mentally indelible imagery"
Jojo Moyes

"It is a grand read and the prose falls translucently like the air ... Superb work and a delightful novel"
Thomas Keneally

"Dreamily nostalgic"
The Observer; Fiction to look out for in 2020

"About real people living in Hydra in 1960. Steeped in nostalgia that's both sad and beautiful. It's fascinating, immersive and so MOVING"
Marian Keyes

"Hands down the best book I've read all year. Luminous, immersive, gorgeous, profound"
Joanne Harris

"If summer was suddenly like a novel, it would be like this one. Immaculate"
Andrew O'Hagan

"I was utterly entranced. It feels entirely true and effortless and compelling – in the way that all great novels do"
Justine Picardie

"This is a sheer delight – I've never been to Hydra but this book transports you and miraculously, you are there in 1960"
Jenny Eclair

"A luscious seduction of a book"
Sofka Zinovieff

"A beautifully written, evocative, inspiring novel. I devoured it"
Kathy Lette

"A glorious novel"
Kate Mosse

 

 

 

 
'A THEATRE FOR DREAMERS'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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