Nicos Panayotopoulos was born in Athens in 1963. He studied engineering, but at the same time took drama courses at the Hellenic-American Union. Initially, he worked as an arts journalist for newspapers, magazines and television. Since 1992 he makes a living as a novelist and screenwriter. He has been teaching screenwriting in several Film Schools, seminars and workshops, and, lately, at the Film Department of the School of Fine Arts at AUTH. Since 2007 he is a senior trainer at the MFI script2film workshops. He has written screenplays for short films, TV series and feature films. In 1996 he won the best screenplay award forTruants (dir. by N. Grammatikos), at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. In 2000 he won the first prize in a screenwriting competition with his screenplay False Alarm, which was produced in 2006 (dir. by K. Evangelakou). He co-wrote The King and The Wake (2002, 2005, dir. by N. Grammatikos), My brother and I, (1998, dir. by A Kokkinos), and Totally Married (2003, dir. by D. Indares) among others.
He has written a collection of short stories, “The Guilt of Materials” (Polis ed. 1997), for which he was awarded the Maria Ralli Award for first appearing writers, and four novels: “Ziggy from Marfan – The Diary of an Alien” (Polis ed. 1998), “The Gene of doubt” (Polis ed. 1999),“Icon” (Polis ed. 2003) -the later was shortlisted for the National Novel Award-, and “The children of Cain” (Metaixmio publ. 2011). Ziggy is translated in Italian (Polvere di stelle, Crocetti ed.), Icon is translated in French (Saint-Homme, ed. Gallimard) and German (Heiligmacher, Reclam Verlag), and the Gene is translated in French (Le Gene du doute, ed. Gallimard), German (Die Erfindung des Zweifels, Reclam Verlag), Italian (Il gene del dubbio, Ponte Alle Grazie ed.), Slovenian, Serbian and Chinese and is currently being translated in Portuguese. He has translated into Greek Andrew Crumey’s “Mr. Mee”, Philip Roth’s “The professor of desire”, and Jean Echenoz’s “Jérôme Lindon”.
Featured Reading Group Title
The Gene of Doubt (Το γονίδιο της αμφιβολίας)
In the early 21st century Albert Zimmermann, an American biologist, discovers the gene of the artist. He introduces a simple test, which can easily prove if one is born a creator or not. A promising writer, fearing a possible rejection, decides to live with doubt. He refuses to undergo the test, which has brought the world of Arts (and not only) upside down, without realising that with this attitude he condemns himself to silence. He will suffer the painful consequences of his decision bravely and he will not regret it but only for a moment, just before his death… And then he will start writing again, to write the praise of doubt, without imagining that this confession will lead to a new reversal, perhaps even more resonant than that caused by the infamous test.
“This work is one of the most inventive works of speculative fiction during the last years internationally. If it was ever to be translated into English, then it might become a universal best seller”. Dimosthenis Kourtovik, Greek writer and literary critic
“Using science fiction or, better, the occasion provided by science fiction, Panayotopoulos talks about contemporary and current issues. The Gene of Doubt is a novel about the anxiety of the artist, his relationship with publishers and critics, and his desire to prove his work recognized.” Filippos Filippou, Greek writer and journalist
- The Gene of Doubt is featured in our Greek Reading Group Autumn / Winter 2012-13.
- Sample The Gene of Doubt excerpt (119) translated into English by David Connolly (downloadable).
- Twitter discussion of The Gene of Doubt on Tuesday 11 December 2012, 6.30-7.30 pm GMT with the hashtag #readinggroup