I firmly believe that literature  can exist only if it is precisely an open proposal to investigate the truth.

 

 And I’d like to add: and to search for beauty.

 

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Manos Kontoleon was born in 1946 in Athens.

He holds a degree in physics from the University of Athens.

He started writing when he was a child but he made his first appearance in Greek letters in 1969 when one of his texts was included in an anthology of young prose writers; ten years later, his first book was published.

Manos Kontoleon has written all genres of prose: novels, novellas, short  stories, fairy tales, plays  and essays.

His books have been published by some of the largest and most important Greek publishing houses (Patakis, Kastaniotis, Estia, Ankyra).

He also writes reviews, articles and literary texts for various newspapers and magazines  as a regular columnist or special contributor.

He is vice-president of the Greek branch of UNICEF, ex member of the Board of the National Book Centre, ex board member of the Hellenic Authors’ Society and of the Greek Section of IBBY.

For two years he was member of the state awards committee for children’s literature, as well as of the monthly literary review Diavazo’s committee for children’s and young people’s books.

He writes scenaria for children’s TV programmes on subjects having to do with books, participates in Greek and international conferences, and is a frequent speaker about the problems and aims of literature for children and young adults.

In 1997, he received the State Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature  for his novel Mask on the Moon  and in 2009 he received the State Prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature  for his tales  Precious Gifts.

  His books have received awards from the Hellenic Author’s Society and from the Greek Section of IBBY.

His short stories and articles have been included in various anthologies of  prose and essays.

Some of his novels, as well as and some of his fairy tales became stage plays and TV series.

He is known abroad through the inclusion of his novel Dominic on the Andersen Awards list of the International Board on Books for Young People and through the French translations of his books Two of them and another two and Taste of Bitter almonds, both of which were published by L’École des loisirs.

He has written (alone or in collaboration with other writers) a complete series of books and magazines for children from 6 to 16 years old. He has likewise collaborated in anthologising short stories by Greek authors. At the same time, he has translated into Greek books by  Tony Ross, Jack and David KacKee, Max Welthius, Babette Cole and Pavel Bichel.

Manos Kontoleon is among the most substantial literary presences in Greece today. He has been described as one of the most important innovator in children’s and young people’s literature as well as in literature for adults.

He has introduced the literature of young adults to Greece through his most recent works in particlar, literary texts which although based on the concerns of young people, are also of interest to older readers.

He has tackled a variety of subjects, social, family, political, fictional, realistic, etc., and keeps searching for new modes of expression in terms of both language and structure.

 

Manos Kontoleon lives in Athens with his wife Kostia Kondoleon (also an author and translator) and their two children.

 

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