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Astoria fetes author at busy book signing

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Visitors at the Atropolis Bakery and Patisserie in Astoria got more than just baklava and kataifi Saturday: They got a chance to meet a first-time author who has been creating a buzz in the Greek community.

Yvette Mannesis Corporon was signing copies of her novel “When the Cypress Whispers” and posing for photographs with a steady stream of customers.

“I’ve done many appearances at schools and synogagues since the book came out, but this is my first time at a bakery,” she said.

Manessis Corporon is a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer, currently working at “Extra” covering celebrity news, but the topic for her book would seem to be quite far from the glitz and glamour of show business.

The story captures the deep bond between an American woman and her Greek grandmother and the secrets she learns of how the people of a Greek island saved a Jewish family from the Nazis during World War II.

“The book is based on my family and things I learned from my grandmother during the summers I spent with her on the island of Erikousa,” Manessis Corporon said.

The book signing event was sponsored by Omega Wines and Spirits, next door to the bakery, at 23-18 31st St.

“I felt that if there’s a way to promote a fellow Greek, I would do it,” owner Irene Gounaris said. “It makes me proud that a young Greek woman writes a book that has such international acclaim and inspires the young people in our community. I’m happy and proud to do anything to help.”

While Manessis Corporon is a resident of Westchester, she’s connected through her father Anastasio’s long association with the Greek Federation of Hellenic-American Society.

“Astoria has such a huge Greek community I knew I had to come where they would look after one of their own,” she said.

Published by Harper Collins, “When the Cypress Whispers” is an international bestseller.

“It’s currently available in 13 languages and it’s especially big in Poland — who knew?” she said.

The Astoria Bookshop provided dozens of copies of the novel for purchase.

“I’m Greek, so I can relate to the stories I’ve heard from my own grandmother,” co-owner Faye Skandalakis said.

While Manessis Corporon chatted with her new fans, Atropolis provided trays of pastries. Omega served free samples of Greek wine.

“We have a tremendous selection of Greek sparkling wines,” Gounaris said. “People try it and love it. It’s very underrated.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Posted 12:00 am, September 22, 2014
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