Petros Márkaris was born in Istanbul. He is a narrator, playwright, scriptwriter and Greek translator, known especially for his great police novels, featuring Inspector Kostas Haritos, which have a strong social content. He studied in Istanbul and, after qualifying in economics, specialised in German culture, devoting himself to the translation of authors such as Bertold Brecht, Thomas Bernhard and Goethe (whose Faust he translated). As a member of the Armenian minority, he was stateless, and obtained Greek citizenship after the fall of the Colonels’ Junta and the return of democracy in 1974. A left-wing activist, he lives in Athens. He began writing in 1965, first focusing on the theatre and later on film scripts and crime novels.
The hero of his novels is Inspector Haritos, through whom he criticises today’s society. He has worked with film director Theo Angelopoulos, with whom he has co-written the scripts for five films. His works include Late Night News, 1995; Zone Defence, 1998; Perfect Suicide, 2003; A Case for Inspector Haritos and Other Clandestine Stories, 2005; The Majority Shareholder, 2006; Death in Istanbul, 2008; Con el agua al cuello, 2011, and the Crisis trilogy: Expiring Loans, 2011; Bread, Education, Liberty (which portrays a scenario in which Greece has returned to the drachma and Spain has recovered the peseta), and End Titles. He has received the 7th Pepe Carvalho Prize (2012) and the Goethe Medal (2013).
Petros Márkaris received the 2015 LiberPress Literature Award for his literary work, based on his progressive, courageous, socially aware and popular position in denouncing the economic and cultural contradictions of Europe and people’s problems under economic and totalitarian macro-imperialism in Europe, which plays cynically with disadvantaged people and countries.