Many students learning Greek love to read books written by Petros Markaris. He mostly uses daily language and his stories are related to contemporary Greece.
An introduction about the author
After studying economics, Petros Markaris made his debut as a writer in 1965 with the play “The story of Ali Retzo”. He continued writing several plays and popular series for Greek television. He also translated several books from German to Greek, including works by Goethe and Brecht. Together with film producer Theodoros Angelopoulos, he wrote the scenarios for Ulysses’ Gaze (1995) and Eleni (2003).
Markaris is the son of an Armenian entrepreneur and a Greek mother. He studied in Istanbul, Vienna and Stuttgart. He speaks and writes Greek, Turkish and German. Today he lives in Athens.
In most of Markaris’ books the reader is taken to the chaotic contemporary Athens. “The Costas Haritos” series of books (seven novels and one collection of short stories) are very popular in several European countries such as Greece, Germany, Italy and Spain . His politically incorrect main character is commissioner Kostas Charitos, detective in the Athenian criminal police in his fifties, husband and proud father.
His books are exciting thrillers, but at the same time they give information about Athens and Greece, from the Regime of the Colonels (1967-1974) till the political situation today.
In addition to the “Inspector Haritos novels”, Markaris has written a non-fiction work entitled ‘Η Αθήνα της Μιας Διαδρομής” (literally The Athens of One Journey).
A book about Athens
Athens has many faces. The tourists who visit the city for a few days have a different view from the Athenians themselves or from the international media, which sees Athens as the center of the crisis. A good way to find out more about Athens, is through the eyes of a novelist.
Peter Markaris, published a book showing Athens in a special way. Title of the book is “Athens in one journey.” The “journey “ refers to the route of the electric railway for nearly 100 years: Piraeus-Kifissia. (The first part of the line, as we know it today was realized in 1926, while the line Piraeus-Thissio dates back to 1869). For your information, the Omilo school is located next to this electric railway, at the “Maroussi station”.
Taking the oldest subway line, known as the “elektriko ” (or Green metro line), you can see the whole of Athens and its inhabitants in less than an hour. This route is intertwined with the life of the Athenians and penetrates all key districts of the capital and all social classes: it starts at the districts of Faliro and Moschato, goes to middle class Kallithea, through the old quarters of the glorious center with its modern day problems, it continues to Nea Ionia (Greek refugee area) and reaches the upper-class districts of Maroussi and Kifissia. It is a book that helps us to learn more about Athens, covering beautiful and ugly, poor and rich, etc. From the windows of the train we can see all aspects of the Greek capital. Surely, after reading this book you will want to make the trip to look at the city from a new perspective!
Any Omilo student that has followed or will follow a Greek course in our Maroussi school, will surely be able to recognize many things!
The book is published in Greek (2013) by Gabrielides . It was first published in German in 2010 from the publisher Hanser.
PS. In August 2013, Markaris was awarded the prestigious “Goethe Medal” for his “distinguished contribution to the German language and international cultural relations”.