A novel for adults
2002 Premio Acerbi (ITALY)
Alki Zei was born in Athens and passed her early childhood in Samos, which is reflected in her internationally recognised novel for children Wildcat under glass. Her whole life, full of adventures, removals, exiles and forced displacements, has inspired her famous novel for adults Achilles’ fiancée. Her autobiographical narration With a Faber number two pencil completes the picture of her life, offering in combination with the other two novels an overview of the recent Greek history. read more...
A novel for children
1970 Mildred Batchelder Award (U.S.A.)
2007 Premio Andersen - Il mondo dell’infanzia (ITALY)
by Bernard Epin in L' ECOLE ET LA NATION
A masterpiece! Undoubtedly perfect, extremely moving. One should not always refrain from expressing one’s enthusiasm! This novel beautifully translated from the Greek, sums up all the essential qualities that one seeks in the children’s literature of our times. Through a sensitivity always alert, a freshness of the eye, a concrete vision that excludes all moralising prose, Alki Zei succeeds in keeping, from beginning to end, the “childish” tone of the narration in order to deal with overwhelming frankness with a subject of such grave consequence as Fascism, which for once we are not afraid to call by its name.
There is a thoughtful stillness around Alki Zei. Watching her, you sense she has a history. You wonder about her childhood – was she lonely? sad? - but she tells you that it was a good one, and she was able to read Hans Andersen and many of the classics, translated into Greek. But, when she was a young woman she was involved with the Greek Resistance against the German occupation during World War 11. The civil war which followed saw her fleeing with her husband to the Soviet Union as a political refugee. There her children were born, and she started to write for young adults.