Wildcat under


© 1963, 2015

A children’s novel

1970 Mildred Batchelder Award (U.S.A.)

With a Faber number two pencil

© 2013, 2015

Biographical narrative




© 1987, 2015

A novel for adults

2002 Premio Acerbi (ITALY)

Tina’s Web

© 2002

A novel for teenagers and young readers

Shortlisted for the 2009 Marsh Award (U.K.)


Alki Zei was born in Athens in 1923 and passed her early childhood in Samos, where her mother was from. On her father’s side she originated from Crete. When she went to school her family first moved at Maroussi and later in Athens.

She studied philosophy at the University of Athens, drama at the Athens Conservatory and Screenwriting at Moscow Cinema Institute.

“If Ι chose to write mainly for children, it is because I wanted to share with them the significant moments my generation has gone through and contribute to the collective memory”.


A selection of reviews, articles and presentations for Alki Zei’s work from the international press.

Review for the first publication of Wildcat under glass in France (1973)

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.

Review for Tina’s web by Clodagh Corcoran in INIS MAGAZINE CHILDREN’S BOOK IRELAND, Summer 2007 issue

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.



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