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Vassilis Vassilikos

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Vassilis Vassilikos
Βασίλης Βασιλικός
Vassilikos in 2016
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
for National list
In office
7 July 2019 – 22 April 2023
Personal details
Vassilios N. Vassilikos

(1933-11-18)18 November 1933
Kavala, Greece
Died30 November 2023(2023-11-30) (aged 90)
Athens, Greece
Resting placeFirst Cemetery of Athens
Political partyMeRA25 (2018–2019)
SYRIZA (2019–2023)
Vasso Papantoniou
(m. 1983)
ChildrenEvridiki Vassilikou - Papantoniou
EducationAnatolia College
Alma materAristotle University of Thessaloniki
Yale Drama School

Vassilis Vassilikos (Greek: Βασίλης Βασιλικός, 18 November 1933 – 30 November 2023) was a Greek writer and diplomat. He stands among the top ten most translated Greek authors, according to UNESCO data.[1]


Vassilis Vassilikos was born in Kavala on November 18, 1933, to parents native to the island of Thasos. His father was an MP with the Liberal Party, and his sister was a table tennis champion. He grew up in Thessaloniki, graduated from law school there, studied television directing at Yale University's Drama School, and moved to Athens to work as a journalist.

Because of his political activities, he was forced into exile for seven years following the coup of 1967. Although the regime fell, he continued to live abroad, working there, until his permanent return to Greece in 1994.

From 1981 to 1984, Vassilikos served as the deputy director of the Greek state television channel (ET1). From 1996 to 2004, he served as Greece's ambassador to UNESCO.

Vassilikos was married twice. The first marriage was with Mimi, with whom they founded a publishing house together, and later divorced because she became a nun, and the second marriage in 1983 with lyrical singer Vasso Papantoniou (born 1939) with whom they had a daughter, Evridiki.

He died on 30 November 2023, at the age of 90. He was buried at the First Cemetery of Athens on December 4.[2] Vassilikos is survived by his wife, Greek soprano Vaso Papantoniou, and their daughter.[3]


As an author, Vassilikos was highly prolific and widely translated. He published more than 100 books, including novels, plays, and poetry. His best-known work is the political novel Z (1967), which has been translated into 32 languages and was the basis of the award-winning film Z directed by Costa-Gavras (with music by Mikis Theodorakis). It also inspired the Indian film Shanghai[citation needed].

Vassilikos and his late wife Dimitra (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 the United States, Vassilikos was long associated with and published by Seven Stories Press.


Vassilikos ran in the 2014 Greek local elections as a PASOK candidate for counsellor in the city of Athens.[4]

In the 2019 Greek legislative election, he was elected MP with Syriza.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • 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
  • Z (English language ISBN 0-394-72990-0 or ISBN 0-941423-50-6)


  • The Photographs, tr. M. Edwards (1971; repr. 1972)
  • The Plant, The Well, The Angel A Trilogy, tr. E. Keeley, M. Keeley (1964)


External links[edit]