The Franco-Greek writer Vassilis Alexakis, Medici Prize in 1995, is dead
One of Vassilis Alexakis' last novels, “Ap. J.-C.”, was Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française in 2007
His life represents a real bridge between two cultures and two languages, French and Greek. The Franco-Greek writer Vassilis Alexakis died Monday at the age of 77, announced “with pain” his editor Metaixmio. The circumstances of his death have not been specified. Greek media reported that it took place in Athens.
An "original humor"
“We will forever remember his original humor, generosity, and kindness, and will preserve as a precious legacy his brilliant literary work, which will remain timeless like his eternally young spirit,” said Metaixmio. According to Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, literature "has lost a great creator, an independent, loved and special voice", and "a writer who has won the esteem of his colleagues and the love of readers in the two countries between which he shared his life, Greece, and France ”.
The most French of Greek writers - a formula that could be reversed as he was so imbued with these two countries, had the characteristic, rare among bilingual authors, of translating himself. Vassilis Alexakis had, among other things, been crowned with the Medici Prize in 1995 for The Mother Tongue.
The first novel in 1974
Born in Athens on December 25, 1943, he arrived in France at the age of 17 on a scholarship. After studying at ESJ Lille, Vassilis Alexakis had become a journalist at Le Monde, La Croix, and France Culture. He is the author of some twenty novels, the first of which, Le Sandwich, appeared in 1974, and one of the last, AD, was Grand Prix du roman de l' Académie française in 2007.
He was also a designer and filmmaker, director in Greece of comedies such as The Athenians, Grand Prix of the Chamrousse Comedy Film Festival in 1991. Finally, close to the left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, he was symbolically on the list of the radical left coalition Syriza in European and municipal elections in the 2000s.