22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Giannis Palavos

Portrait Giannis Palavos
© Nikos Tsitsiokas

Giannis Palavos was born in 1980 in the Greek town of Velventos in the region of Kozani. He studied journalism at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and arts administration at the Panteion University in Athens.

Palavos made his début in 2007 with the short story collection »Alithini agapi kai alles istories« (tr: True Love and Other Stories). In 2012, he released »Asteío« (tr: Joke), a volume of seventeen stories that describe everyday life in Athens and the rural areas of Greece. Agricultural terms are mixed with student slang and several characters struggle with being adults while others attempt to escape. Most of the stories collected here match the style of American dirty realism and are rife with black humor, while others recall the tradition of magical realism in Latin American novels. Another source of inspiration is the Greek short story tradition with a focus on rural life. »Asteío« won the State Literature Prize for Short Story Collection and was named as the best short story collection of the year by »Anagnostis« magazine. Palavos won the 2005 Best Short Story Award in the British Council Young Writers’ National Contest for his short prose texts. Palavos is also the co-author of the graphic novel »To Ptoma« (2011; tr: The Corpse), which was translated into French in 2015 under the title »Le Croque-Mort«. It tells the story of a Greek funeral director who must guard the body of a dead man for two days while he awaits his daughter’s return from abroad. In 2017, he wrote »Gra-Gru« with Tassos Zafiriades, which also includes illustrations created by Athanasios Petrou. The graphic novel won the prize for the best Greek comic book and the best scenario at the Comicdom Awards. Against the backdrop of the restaurant that gives the book its title, an atmospherically rich story with all kinds of charming characters unfolds.

Palavos also works as a literary translator. His translations of Matthew Arnold, Katherine Mansfield, Edgar Lee Masters, Eugène Guillevic, Ray Bradbury, Willa Cather, Miroslav Holub, Donald Justice, Langston Hughes, Saki, and Tobias Wolff have appeared in numerous Greek magazines and online publications. The author lives in Athens.