Don Lowe

Don Lowe gives a readingDon Lowe has spent the five or so decades on the island and has penned multiple works of fiction. He often entertains the locals with readings from his writings.

“[Hydra resident and writer David Fagan introduces Don Lowe as] ‘an extraordinary fellow, an Englishman, who hasn’t budged from the Rock since he landed more than four decades ago.’ Don (now in his [seventies]) lives in a ‘ramshackle, little stone cottage with a concave roof and an outhouse with a selection of gypsy-like cages containing chickens and ducks, scattered in an adjacent, unkempt garden.’

I had heard stories about Don Lowe before I happened to meet him at the Pyrofani restaurant one evening: that he had originally lived in a hut, that many years ago he had personally delivered his two children in a cave near Kamini beach, that he lived mostly off oysters he dived for, that he refused to have electricity at home, that his (‘concave’) roof leaked every winter in spite of the fact that he repaired it each summer; and, most remarkably, that he had written 65 books on an old typewriter, largely by candlelight. Don corrected that last point at the Pyrofani: he has written 73.

The books have never been published. He does, however, give readings from them and some people on the island have copies in manuscript form. Wider recognition of his work has so far been limited to a screenplay he wrote which was turned into a film by Australian director Paul Cox, The Nun and the Bandit.

Maybe in the future Lowe’s writings will be read, maybe they won’t. Maybe he will be remembered, maybe not. What seems significant is that, every day for more than forty years, on this big Saronic rock, something has given him the energy, has motivated him, has kept driving him to write.”

—Jonathan Carr, “Literary Lions and Lines of Hydra,” 2004