Since 1996, he has served as Greece's ambassador to UNESCO.
As an author, Vassilikos has been highly prolific and widely-translated. He has published more than 100 books, including novels, plays and poetry. His best known work is the political novel Z (1967) (English language ISBN 0-394-72990-0 or ISBN 0-941423-50-6), which has been translated into thirty-two languages and was the basis of the award-winning film Z directed by Costa-Gavras (with music by Mikis Theodorakis).
Vassilikos and his late wife Demitria ("Mimí") were friends with the American poet James Merrill; the death of Mimí serves as a critical late plot turn in Merrill's epic poem, The Changing Light at Sandover (1982).
In 2008, Vassilikos was among to 41 other personalities of Greece who condemned the withdrawal of Ersi Sotiropoulou's book Zigzag Through the Bitter-Orange Trees from Greek school libraries, after the appeal by Konstantinos Plevris against the Ministry of National Education of Greece for this action. In 2001, Petros Tatoulis had asked the withdrawal of this specific book, characterizing it as pornographic due to the provocative sexual scenes which it allegedly contains.
- The Monarch
- And Dreams Are Dreams
- The Photographs
- The Plant, the Well, the Angel
- The Coroner's Assistant
- The Harpoon Gun
- The Few Things I Know About Glafkos Thrassakis
- The Photographs, tr. M. Edwards (1971; repr. 1972)
- The Plant, The Well, The Angel A Trilogy, tr. E. Keeley, M. Keeley (1964)
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