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. 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."