Most Influential Contemporary Greek-American Authors

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Jeffrey Eugenides, a renowned Greek-American author, received the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. Credit: United States Embassy Dublin / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

Contemporary Greek-American authors often write on topics that can go a long way, but there is almost always a special nod to Greece embedded in their works that can be felt across the page.

Some authors of Greek descent can be found on bookstore shelves and in reading nooks around the world, and have beautiful and distinct messages and writing styles. Five of the world’s most notable and influential Greek-American authors are featured below.

Most influential Greek-American authors

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Jeffrey Eugenide

Any list of authors of Greek descent would be remiss if it did not mention Jeffrey Eugenides, who is perhaps the best-known Greek-American author who still publishes work. Pulitzer Prize winner Eugenides has a unique voice and writing style and his books cover topics as diverse as adolescent mental health, immigration and the decline of the American city.

Eugenides had an extremely successful career. Her first novel, “The Virgin Suicides”, published in 1993, was made into a Sofia Coppola film of the same name in 1999. Her second novel, “Middlesex”, was published in 2002 and won her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2003.

Middlesex pays homage to Eugenides’ Greek roots, following an intersex man of Greek descent in modern day Strait. The first half of the book, however, has a different focus, instead following the early lives of the main character’s grandparents, who were forced to flee Asia Minor during the Smyrna fire.

Her third complete novel, released in 2011, is called “The Marriage Plot”. Eugenides once again recognizes his Greek origin in the novel by making one of the three main characters a Greek from Detroit.

Panio Gianopoulos

Greek-American authors
Panio Gianopoulos is the author of two bestselling novels and has had a remarkable career as a publisher. Credit: Facebook / @ Panio Gianopoulos

Panio Gianopolous is a Greek-American author born and raised in Massachusetts. Gianopolous, who has worked as both author and book editor, has so far published two books, titled “A Familiar Beast” and “How to Break Into Our House and Where We Keep the Money”.

Her first novel, “A Familiar Beast”, was Amazon’s best book of the month and number one for best-selling independent books. The novel follows a man named Marcus who watches his life fall apart and accepts an invitation to visit a former high school classmate named Edgar who is busy battling his own demons. The couple plan a deer hunt that prompts Marcus to reassess his life.

Her second book is a collection of nine short stories about love and dating titled “How to Get into Our Home and Where We Keep the Money”. Although Gianopoulos himself is a successful author and publisher, he is also well known thanks to his wife, actress Molly Ringwald. Their children all have Greek names, a nod to Gianopoulos’ own heritage.

George pelecanos

Greek-American authors
George Pelecanos, author of the “Nick Stefanos” detective story trilogy. Credit: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

George Pelecanos is a prolific Greek-American author, having written over 20 books and screenplays. Born in Washington DC, Pelecanos often incorporates parts of his heritage into his work, which falls primarily within the genre of detective fiction.

Much of Pelecanos’ early work revolved around a Washington DC Greek detective named Nick Stefanos. His first three novels were in the first person and narrated by Stefanos, but Pelecanos then chose to expand his work and started writing in the third person, introducing new characters such as the crime fighter named Dimitri Karras.

In addition to his twenty feature films, Pelecanos is also a decorated screenwriter and producer. Frequently collaborating with David Simon, director and television writer, Pelecanos wrote several episodes of Simon’s HBO series “The Wire”. During his long and successful career, he also won a long list of accolades, including a Writers Guild of America Award for “Outstanding Drama Series.”

Arianna Huffington

Greek-American authors
Greek-American HuffPost founder Arianna Huffington is also the author of a long list of bestselling books. Credit: David Shankbone/ Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Arianna Huffington’s last name may sound familiar, no doubt because she is one of the co-founders of the news media giant and the former editor-in-chief of “The Huffington Post”. She is also the author of several bestselling books, and many of her fifteen credited titles evoke Greek themes.

Some of her non-fiction novels include “Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend” and “The Gods of Greece”. Huffington grew up in Greece before moving to the UK at the age of 16 and studying economics at the University of Cambridge.

Huffington is almost certainly the most influential Greek woman in media today, and has now moved on from HuffPost, which was sold to BuzzFeed. She started a new business that provides behavior change technology called “Thrive Global” and her latest book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder” was a best. -Instant international sales. .

Harry mark petrakis

Harry Mark Petrakis was born in Missouri, the son of Greek immigrants to the United States. Petrakis, whose Greek name was Charalambos, had a long and successful career, publishing more than twenty novels throughout his life before his death in February 2021.

Many of Petrakis’ books centered around the people of Chicago’s Greektown, where he personally grew up. He still produced works regularly until 2015 and has a very varied bibliography, having written fiction books, short stories anthologies and non-fiction books. His last book was a full autobiography titled “The Song of My Life”, published when Petrakis was 91 years old.

In 1966, the Greek-American author became an international success with the publication of his novel “A Dream of Kings”, which earned him a nomination for the National Book Award for Fiction for the second consecutive year. “A Dream of Kings” was on the “New York Times” bestseller list for 12 weeks, translated into 12 languages ​​and made into a Hollywood film of the same name.


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