Greek writer Petros Markaris, known for his crime fiction, was awarded a medal by Germany’s Germany’s Goethe Institute, along with peers from Iran and India for their works praised for showing culture of their countries and Germany.
The others honored were Iranian translator and author S. Mahmoud Hosseini Zad as well as Indian publisher Naveen Kishore.
Markaris characterized his translation of Goethe’s Faust as a “strenuous adventure.” Organizers stressed his contemporary novels centered around a fictitious Athens police inspector amounted to sharp observation and social critique.
They said he acted as a “liaison” between Greece and Germany and had managed to maintain a “clear, analytical view” on both countries even at times of economic crisis. Greeks blame Germany for backing harsh austerity measures in return for bailouts from international lenders.
In his acceptance speech, Markaris, who was born in Istanbul in 1937, underlined his love and devotion toward the German language and literature while stressing that he wouldn’t have studied German if it wasn’t for his father.
The medals, awarded annually since 1955, pay tribute to personalities who assist in the promotion of German literature abroad and foster cultural dialogue.