The daughter of a Greek father and a Minnesotan mother, Eleni Gage has always been obsessed with cultural rituals and traditions. So, after having grown up in Athens, Greece, and the suburbs of Worcester, Massachusetts, it was an obvious decision for her to study Folklore and Mythology when she went off to college at Harvard University (although said parents hoped she’d choose something more practical…like, say, English).
Now a writer with an ongoing fascination with folklore, Eleni is the author of the travel memoir North of Ithaka, which describes her experience living in Lia, the small Greek village where her father was born, and her first novel Other Waters, about an Indian-American psychiatrist who thinks that her family has been cursed. It was only after having finished both manuscripts that Eleni realized the pomegranate–a folkloric symbol of abundance–plays a significant role in each book, which is why she chose to incorporate the symbol into this site. Her latest book, The Ladies of Managua, is lacking in pomegranates; if it had a symbol, it would be the fuchsia Nicaraguan dragonfruit known as the pitaya. The novel, which will be released by St. Martin’s Press on May 5th, 2015 (just in time for Mother’s Day!) follows three generations of Nicaraguan women, each with her own secret, as they’re forced to confront their complicated, passionate, relationshops to each other, and to their homeland.
A freelance writer and editor whose articles have appeared on the covers of Travel+Leisure, T, Budget Travel, Town&Country Travel, and Real Simple, Eleni has also contributed to The New York Times, Parade, and The American Scholar, and held staff positions at Allure, Elle, InStyle and People magazines. She’s also a writing instructor, having taught academic writing to first-year students at Columbia University while pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing there, and led travel-writing workshops for media professionals through Mediabistro in New York.
After a few years in Miami Beach, Eleni has returned to New York where she works as the Executive Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings and lives with her husband, a Nicaraguan coffee trader, and their toddler daughter, Amalía. She picked her wedding date a year before meeting the man she eventually married, with the help of an Indian astrologer who told her she’d wed a “soft-hearted businessman” on 10.10.10. This accurate prediction is one of the many events in Eleni’s life which have confirmed her belief that Folklore and Mythology, with its focus on ritual, tradition, and divination, is by far the most useful major she could have chosen.
And at her 10.10.10 wedding reception on the Greek island of Corfu, the tables were decorated with pomegranates that the bride and groom and their friends and family picked in Lia. For more than you ever wanted to know about Eleni, visit her blog, www.theliminalstage.com