Mihalis Makropoulos was born in Athens in 1965 and studied biology in the University of Athens. He has published thirteen books for adults (novelettes, short story collections, a travelogue in Epirus) and four books for children. His novelette Mavro Nero (Black Water, 2019) was awarded with the National Literature Award and the prestigious “Anagnostis” prize for literature. His book I malamatenia velanidia (The Golden Oak, 2020) was awarded with the National Book Award for Children’s Literature.

He works as a translator of fiction and non-fiction, having translated, among others, Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine), Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises, Complete Short Stories), Truman Capote (In Cold Blood), Henry James (The Bostonians, The Golden Bowl), Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities), Joseph Conrad (The Heart of Darkness), William Golding (A Sea Trilogy, The Spire), Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March), Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory), John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice And Men, East of Eden), Carson McCullers (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), Michel Faber (Under the Skin), Stephen King (Salem’s Lot, The Dark Tower, The Talisman with Peter Straub, Hearts in Atlantis).

Since 2010 he has been living on the island of Lefkas with his wife (also a translator) and their two kids.

 More about author: 
First name:  Mihalis
Last name:  Makropoulos

“Tales for Microscopic and Gigantic Creatures” (Brainfood 2000)

“Love and the Monster” (Hestia Publishers & Booksellers 2002)

“The Magical Excursion” (Hestia Publishers & Booksellers 2005)

“The End of the Voyage” (Hestia Publishers & Booksellers 2006)

“The Empty Chair” (Kastaniotis 2007)

“Sparrow & Graham” (Pikramenos 2012)

“Travelogue in Pogoni” (Fagotto books 2013)

“The Child in the Suitcase” (Patakis 2013)

“Judas Tree” (Kichli 2014)

“Tsotsigia & O’m” (Kichli 2017)

“Black Water” (Kichli 2019)

“The Golden Oak” (Kaleidoscope Publications 2020)

“The Sea” (Kichli 2020)

“Mars” (with poet Eleni Kofterou, Kichli 2021)

“Tales from a Past Future” (Kichli 2022)


Fryni, P.O.Box 45306, 31100 Lefkas

Date of birth:  1965
Birth place:  Athens
Abstract title:  “Father and Christophoros” (from Black Water)
Abstract text: 

It rained all night, hard and nonstop, and large rocks came unstuck from the mountainside at Anilio and rolled down on the road. In the morning the rain petered out but the sky was heavy, weighing down on the village and the mountains. They ate half of the bread he’d bought in town the day before and saved the rest for the road, along with two flasks of water from the reservoir Father had built at the back of the house. The reservoir was more than half full and it would get fuller, this being the wet season. They’d only drink water from there until the last drop was gone but, at some point during the long months of drought, the reservoir would run dry.

The water coming out of the tap looked clean nowadays, except it wasn’t, nor was it going to be clean again for years to come. Already since Anastasia was alive and they had yet to realize she was sick, Father had put a filter on the tap which he changed yearly – that, food and Phori’s books were their only expenses. But this frequent change of filter was like a prayer to a god in whom he no longer believed in, even if he couldn’t admit as much.

He put a thick jumper on Christophoros and his raincoat on top of that and then placed him in the carrier he had built specially so that carrying the boy on his back for hours on end was comfortable and comparatively easy – adding extra straps so that the carrier was a tight fit around his chest and waist, and with two holes for the boy’s legs, useless and thin as twigs though with pretty, well-shaped toes. Father often trimmed the toenails with great care, so that they looked like small, transparent shells, rubbed smooth by the waves.

When Anastasia conceived Christophoros she was already sick, but they only figured that out many months later: the baby was the first visible symptom of her sickness.

He lifted him on his back, moved his shoulders up and down and shook himself a couple of times to get a smug fit, then he buckled the straps and they went out into the cold winter morning. He took the roadway which was cracked here and there, with chunks missing at the edges because no one was doing any maintenance anymore. He could sense the boy’s joy from the way he moved his body from side to side inside the carrier, to look at everything: the bare branches of the oaks, St. John’s icon at the outskirts of the village, a bird that suddenly took flight and whose path the boy traced with his gaze.

He made a stop at Anilio and cleared the rocks off the road, without getting Christophoros off his back – lifting them one by one from a deep squat and throwing them aside. Usually, from one Friday to the next, when the bus did its rounds, nothing else came through, but clearing the road from the rocks was a community service he had assigned himself, even if there was no community to speak of anymore. It was like changing the tap filter – although there was no point in doing it, still he did it in the vain faith that some traveler might come through…

(Translation: Konstantinos Matsoukas)


“Anagnostis” short story prize 2020

National Literature Award 2020

National Book Award for Children’s Literature 2021