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Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Z, 50th Anniversary Edition
Book cover for Z, 50th Anniversary Edition

Translated by Marilyn Calmann

A progressive parliamentary deputy is scheduled to appear at a political rally. Meanwhile, local political bosses plot his assassination. Thugs are recruited to disrupt the rally. Rumors begin to spread. But the forces already set in motion are irresistible. Vassilis Vassilikos' Z is the story of a crime, a time, a place, and people transformed by events.


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."

Book cover for Z, 50th Anniversary Edition
Book cover for Z, 50th Anniversary Edition

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“Shattering validity, exciting reading . . . Vassilikos's gifts are dazzling.”

“An admirable book and a rich one that achieves its aim: to throw light on a historical moment of great significance.”

blog — November 15

Books That Shook the World: A November Promotion in Partnership with Indie Bookstores

In the age of online retailers and large corporate bookstores, independent booksellers can find themselves struggling to keep up. That’s why Seven Stories Press is partnering with indie bookstores for a series of new promotions to encourage readers to buy our books in ways that benefit both booksellers and publishers. The collaboration began in August, with Seven Stories offering indie bookstores a unique discount on a collection of seven themed titles. The first two collections were “For Human Rights, Against War” and “Women in Translation.” The same collections were also featured on the Seven Stories website.

To go with the featured collections, Seven Stories is holding a book display contest, in which indie booksellers compete to construct the best display showcasing the featured titles. Each winner is selected by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) and awarded $300. The wonderful winner from our first display, Curious Iguana in Frederick, MD, is featured in the photo above.

This initiative sprang from the question of how independent publishers can leverage their web presence in a way that also benefits independent booksellers. Eileen Dengler, the executive director of NAIBA, and Todd Dickinson, NAIBA’s president and the co-owner of his own indie bookstore, both believe that Seven Stories’s promotional indie partnership is a crucial first step to addressing this question.

Dan Simon, the founder of Seven Stories Press, said the idea for the promotion and contest materialized through conversations with Dengler and Dickinson about ways that publishers can support indies through their approaches to online sales. Dickinson said that of all the publishers NAIBA spoke with about possible partnership, Seven Stories “came back the strongest” and “were the most interested in developing some sort of pilot program” to support indies. Simon acknowledges that the promotional program may adapt over time, but he, Dickinson, and Dengler are confident that the collaboration will have a positive impact on indie booksellers.

From November 15th to November 22nd, seven “Books that Shook the World” will be featured on the Seven Stories website with a special offer: buy three of these books, and receive a fourth free. Just email sevenstories@sevenstories.com with your first and last name, and the book you would like sent for free. We'll verify that you bought three books already, and then get your fourth one in the mail!

This collection includes The Hite Report, Operation Massacre, Profit Over People, Z, The Man with the Golden Arm, Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2018, and Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas. Whether conducting in-depth research on little-explored topics, chronicling individuals’ journeys to expose injustices, or turning a spotlight on the issues facing overlooked communities, these books are united by a shared dedication to exposing important truths about the world—and they’re not afraid to shake up the status quo in the process.

Any book purchased through the Seven Stories website comes with a free e-book version, and anyone purchasing one of the titles from an independent bookseller can also get a free e-book by emailing a photo of their receipt to sevenstories@sevenstories.com. For booksellers competing in the November book display contest, submit a picture of the display to NAIBAeileen@gmail.com by 12/3/2018. This promotion is a great opportunity to discover your next favorite book, and to support the many indie booksellers committed to supplying us all with great works of literature.

Vassilis Vassilikos

Born in 1933 in Kavalla in Northern Greece, VASSILIS VASSILIKOS grew up mostly in Salonika. After the military coup in 1967, he spent seven years in exile, returning to Greece in 1974. Author of some 120 books, translated into more than twenty foreign languages, Vassilikos is Greece's formost living novelist. His novel, Z, was adapted for film by Costa Gavras, winning the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969.