One of Abbott's five best books about inamoratas and other women, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
Greek FireRead about the other entries on Abbott's list.
by Nicholas Gage (2000)
Greek-born American journalist Nicholas Gage gives us a splendid portrait of opera star Maria Callas's life as the mistress of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Their love ignited in the summer of 1959, on Onassis's yacht. Though unlikely lovers—Onassis derided opera as "Italian chefs shouting risotto recipes at each other"—Maria "flooded [him] with her love, surrendered totally." He divorced his first wife, Athina, a year after the affair began but then didn't marry Callas—and did embark, eight years later, on an unhappy marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy. Callas might have been a tempestuous diva, but she remained his closest friend and confidante. "Greek Fire" confirms, as many suspected, that in her heart-rending interpretation of "Tosca," Callas was also singing about her own life: "Vissi d'arte, Vissi d'amore." I lived for art, I lived for love.