Ersi Sotiropoulos is a poet, novelist and short story writer whose originality and contemporariness are considered to have “raised the bar for contemporary Greek fiction”, and who is today hailed as one of the giants of Greek culture.
Born in the city of Patras, she studied Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology in Florence. Before beginning her career as a writer, she worked for the Greek Embassy in Rome as a cultural advisor.
She published her first novel Διακοπές χωρίς πτώμα (Vacation Without a Corpse) in 1980. Since then, she has published a poetry collection, several short-story anthologies, and other novels which have subsequently been published in several countries. The English translations of her short stories have been published in several literary publications, among which the Harvard Review.
In 2000, Ζιγκ Ζαγκ στις Νεραντζιές (Zigzag Through the Bitter-Orange Trees), hailed as the “best Greek novel of the decade”, was the first novel ever to receive both the Greek national prize for Literature and the preeminent Diavàzo magazine book critics’ award. It was later translated into six other languages.
Her novel Εύα (Eva) and the short-story collection Να νιώθεις μπλε, να ντύνεσαι κόκκινα (Feel Blue, Dress in Red) won the 2011 Athens Academy Prize for best novel and the 2012 National Book Award, respectively. Her most recent work, Τι μένει από τη νύχτα (Ce qui reste de la nuit), that follows three days in the life of young Greek poet Konstandinos Kavafis in Paris, received the 2017 Mediterranean Prize.
Ersi Sotiropoulos is a fellow at several institutes and universities around the world, such as the Iowa University International Writing Program, the Schloss Wiepersdorf in Germany, and Princeton University. She has written screenplays for film and television, was a columnist for Greek newspaper Eleutherotypia and has participated in several exhibitions of visual poetry. She currently lives in Athens.