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Alki Zei contributed to the Greek Resistance against the German occupation during World War II then during the Civil War that followed, she fled with her husband to the Soviet Union as a political refugee. Soon after her return, she had to leave again at the time of the military junta in 1967, due to her opposition to the regime. She returned to Greece in 1974 after the restoration of democracy.
She is an award-winning Greek author of over a dozen books for children including: Wildcat under Glass, Peter’s War, The Purple Umbrella, Alice In Marble Land and The Sound of the Dragon’s Feet.
In 1992, she won the National Award for Children's Literature (Greece) and has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature.
Her books have been translated into many languages.
Shortlisted for the 2009 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. If you read Junk by Malcolm Burgess, you were probably gripped by it but you didn’t necessarily enjoy it. Tina’s Web, however, is different in many ways but similar too. Set in both Germany and in Greece, this is a hard-hitting contemporary novel about drugs and divorce. When her parents divorce, something she never expects them to do, Tina is dumped back with her gran in Greece who doesn’t understand her, school is terrible and she gets into drugs, first for recreation but then it becomes a habit, a habit that alternates between heaven and hell. Despite all the lies her gran finds out. Together can they sort the terrible mess Tina finds herself in?Very few titles read in the UK (a mere 3%) are books read in translation and even fewer are aimed at children. In France that figure is nearer 50%. It is vital that young people have the opportunity to read books fromas wide a range of countries and cultures as possible. The publisher of Letters from Alain is one such publisher and the Marsh Award in Translation selects the best of the books in translation and this is one. Translated from Greek by John Thornley who, when not translating is a radio producer, freelance writer and arts consultant. The other titles shortlisted for the Marsh Award were Letters From Alain, My Brother Johnny, When the Snow Fell, Message in a Bottle, and Toby Alone.
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