Amanda Michalopoulou
Amanda Michalopoulou was born in Athens, Greece, in 1966. She studied French literature in Athens and journalism in Paris and works as a columnist and critic for the daily newspaper I Kathimerini.

Demonstrating a sharp eye for detail, in her texts Michalopoulou depicts everyday situations with a fantastic and disturbing element, the outcome of which is often pointedly surrealistic. She wrote most of her books during periods of residence as a fellowship holder in Germany, France, the USA and Switzerland. "Like an actress, foreign countries give me the freedom to invent other identities – and yet I cannot escape my Greek identity. This combination is an ideal breeding ground for the imagination."

She refers to her novels "Jándes" (1996; Octopus Garden), "Osses forés antéxis" (1998; That's Life!), and "Paliókeros" (2001; Bloody Awful Weather) as a "trilogy of self-reference". Her protagonists are often authors, translators or publishers who belong to the world of words and literature and who set out on journeys in search of true life in the course of the narrative; looking for their own history and identity. The debut novel "Octopus Garden", which received the acclaimed critics' prize from the literary magazine Diavazo, tells the story of a family. In "That's Life!" the Greek first-person narrator searches in various European cities for her Czech lover, who looks like Franz Kafka and whom she tenderly refers to as "my little beetle". Amanda Michalopoulou relates this post-modern Odyssey using eighty quotations from Kafka and innumerable references to his life.