Greek for the French, French for the Greeks, Vassilis Alexakis constantly built bridges between two cities, Athens and Paris, between two cultures. He wrote in both languages, starting from one side, sometimes from the other, he had an innate curiosity to discover, he hated seriousness, he was always in love with the values and joys of life, but above all with words.
Vassilis Alexakis was born in Athens in December 1943. He studied at the Higher School of Journalism in Lille. Settled in France since 1969, he was a contributor to Le Monde for many years and wrote his first books in French. There he worked as a journalist, book reviewer and chronographer. Thus he became acquainted with the French language in which he wrote his first novels.
His first work, written in his native language, was “Talgo”, which was released in 1982, was a great success and sold more than 200,000 copies. He also wrote the books “The Mother Tongue” (1995, published by Exantas) and “The Heart of Margarita” (1999, published by Exantas) in Greek.
A well-known author in Europe, he has won many awards: State Prize for Fiction for “Foreign Words” (2004), Medicis for “Mother Tongue” (1995). In 2007 the French Academy awarded him the Grand Prize for Fiction, while in 2017 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Department of French Language and Literature of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.