Born in London in 1978, Mary Karras is the daughter of Greek Cypriot emigres. Her parents separately fled Cyprus in the sixties and seventies, seeking a new life free of the turbulent politics of their native island, settling in north London where they met and married. As a child, Mary and her sisters would visit their grandparents in Harringay, spending time in the Greek Cypriot grocery shops and bakeries that flourished on Green Lanes at that time. Growing up, she developed a keen interest in the concepts of community, cultural dissonance, language and belonging, leading her to pursue a degree in English Literature and Language at King's College London. She lives in north London, and Mrs Petrakis is her first novel.