First American Edition of Vassilis Vassilikos' Z; Warmly Inscribed by Him to the Director of Z Costa Gavros

  • Z.
  • Z.


Item Number: 92367

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968.

First American edition of the author’s classic work. Octavo, original black cloth. Presentation copy, warmly inscribed by the author on the title page to director Costa Gavras in English and Greek, “For Costas with my true friendship, Vassilis Vassilikos.” The recipient Gavros was the director of the movie Z, which was based on the novel of the same name by  Vassilikos. Z was the first film—and one of only a handful—to be nominated for both the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film. It won the latter, as well as the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film; at the 27th Golden Globe Awards. The film presents a thinly fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963. With its satirical view of Greek politics, its dark sense of humor, and its downbeat ending, the film captures the outrage about the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at the time of its making. Near fine in a very good dust jacket that shows very light wear. Jacket design by Enrico Arno. Translated from the Greek by Marilyn Calmann. An excellent association.

Z was published in Greece in 1966, and banned there one year later. It is based on an actual political assassination in 1963 in Salonika. The victim was Gregory Lambrakis, a socialist legislator and outspoken critic of the government. But Lambrakis's killers could not have anticipated the public response. His funeral became a political event; by the time the cortege reached Athens, 400,000 people were following the coffin in silence. In the nation's capital, the letter Z suddenly appeared on walls, sidewalks, posters--everywhere. Z stands for the Greek verb zei, "he lives." It is the basis for the award-winning film, starring Yves Montand and Irene Pappas and directed by Costa Gavras.