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Collection Overview

Tsitselē, Kaiē (1926-2001).
Kaiē Tsitselē Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
17 boxes and 7.3 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-17


Consists of personal papers of Kaiē Tsitselē, Greek author and translator, who contributed to the dissemination of the Modern Greek literature outside Greece. The collection consists of manuscripts of some of Tsitselē's novels, short stories, radio scripts, and book reviews along with her English translations of Greek works. Correspondence with her friends and colleagues completes the collection.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises 17 archival boxes of manuscripts of some of Tsitselē's novels, short stories, radio scripts, translations of Greek works into English, and correspondence with friends and associates. Included in these papers are autograph manuscript and typescript drafts, as well as notebooks of No Name in the Street (1953), her first novel, Ten Seconds from Now (1957), a novel, The Way to Colonos (1960), and many drafts of stories to be included in an unpublished work, The Painter and His Model (ca. 1978). In addition, there are translations from Greek into English by Tsitselē of Koula (1991) by Menēs Koumantareas and The Wife of Candaulus (1954) by Margarita Lymperakē, as well as a libretto for an opera composed by Arghyris Kounadis called The Return (1962), based on The Way to Colonos.

There are letters to Tsitselē, in English and in Greek, by Michael Cacoyannis, Kimon Friar, E. M. Forster, W. Hollerer, Margarita Lymperakē, Iris Murdoch, Peter Mackridge, Arghyris Kounadis, Angelos Staurou Vlachos, and others; literary and other magazines; and Greek newspapers containing articles, book reviews or short stories by Tsitselē. Also included are postcard photographs by Sougioutzoglou-Seraidarē, Nelly's of the Delphic Festival of 1930 in Delphi, Greece, and a few others.


Organized into the following series and subseries:

Collection Creator Biography:

Tsitselē, Kaiē (1926-2001).

Kaiē Tsitselē (or Kay Cicellis, name by which she is known in English), 1926-2001, was a Greek author who wrote in both English and Greek. Her linguistic biography is complex. Born in Marseille to Greek parents, who seem to have normally spoken French with her, she learned English from an English governess, and she very soon came to feel that English was the language most suited to her writing. She had never visited Greece until, at the age of ten, she moved with her family to Athens. For the first three years after this move, she received private lessons at home, and she was later to claim that this was when she first learned Greek. In 1939 she enrolled at the American College for Girls in the seaside Athens suburb of Hellēniko. It was about this time that she began to write literary texts in English. As she wrote in 1956, "at the very moment when I recognized the English language as my language, I also recognized Greece as my country, my element. These two discoveries, though simultaneous, were irreconcilable" (Tsitselē 1956a). After the German invasion of Greece in 1941, she moved with her family to her father's ancestral island of Cephalonia. Once the Second World War was over, Tsitselē settled in Athens, where she lived for most of the rest of her life. However, she spent two extended periods in London in 1950-1 and 1955-6, several months in Karachi, and about four years in a small town near Manchester, England (1958-62). The reason why she spent time in these last two places was that her husband Nikos Paleologos was working there.

Most of Tsitselē's literary writing until the 1980s was in English, and all of her first six books, published in the period 1950-1967, were written in English. The most successful phase of her career as an English writer lasted from 1950 to the early 1960s. During the period between 1974 and 1996 she became one of the foremost translators of modern Greek writing – both fiction and non-fiction – into English. After some texts of hers in Greek had appeared sporadically over a period of forty years, her career as a Greek author enjoyed a remarkable late flowering in the 1990s, when she published a series of stories in magazines, which were collected, together with others, in a volume entitled Ho choros tōn hōrōn ( The Dance of the Hours, Athens 1998). This, her first and only book written in Greek, was awarded the Greek National Short-Story Prize in 1999.

Collection History


Gift of Kaiē Tsitselē to the Program in Hellenic Studies for the Princeton University Library.


Nothing was removed from the collection.

Processing Information

This collection was originally processed in 1998. New material was acquired and the collection was revised, reprocessed, and completed by Kalliopi Balatsouka in 2010. Finding aid compiled by Kalliopi Balatsouka in 2010, incorporating descriptions generously prepared by Prof. Peter Mackridge.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Kaiē Tsitselē Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-17

Find More


Published editions of these manuscripts: No Name in the Street. New York: Grove Press, 1953, Ten Seconds From Now. London: Harvill Press, 1957, The Way to Colonos. New York: Grove Press, 1960, Ho choros tōn hōrōn. Athens: Agra, 1998, Death of a Town. London: The Harvill Press, 1954 [1955]. Menēs Koumantareas: Koula . Athens: Kedros, translated by Kaiē Tsitselē, 1991.

The biographical note is based on research done by Prof. Peter Mackridge as a Library Research Fellow of the Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University.

Subject Terms:
Authors, Greek -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Authors, Greek -- 20th century -- Manuscripts.
Greek literature, Modern -- 20th century -- Translations into English.
Women novelists, Greek -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Women novelists, Greek -- 20th century -- Manuscripts.
Women translators -- Greece -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Women translators -- Greece -- 20th century -- Manuscripts.
Genre Terms:
Correspondence -- 20th century
Manuscripts, Greek -- 20th century.
Translations--20th century.
Fêtes de Delphes
Galanakē, Rea
Keeley, Edmund.
Klēridē, Chrysanthē
Mackridge, Peter
Zatelē, Zyranna