Sarrinikolaou, George 1970–

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Sarrinikolaou, George 1970–

PERSONAL: Born 1970, in Athens, Greece; immigrated to United States, 1980. Education: Attended Cornell University and Columbia University.

ADDRESSES: HomeNew York, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003.

CAREER: Environmental policy worker and author. Previously worked as a journalist.


Facing Athens: Encounters with the Modern City, North Point Press (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Born in Athens, Greece, author George Sarrinikolaou moved with his family to the United States when he was ten. He attended Cornell University and Columbia University, and went on to write, produce, and edit for public radio and television, and for a Greek-American newspaper. He has since gone on to work in environmental policy.

In 2004, Sarrinikolaou wrote and published his first book, Facing Athens: Encounters with the Modern City. Although the author frequently visited Greece after his family moved, he made a three-month journey back to Athens in order to research the book and reconnect with family and friends. The result is a ten-essay account of his experiences as a Greek expatriate exploring the city of his birth. Sarrinikolaou observes Athens as a city in conflict—one with ancient roots but fraught with corruption. Athens' upper class citizens have moved to sprawling suburbs, while the city center has been left in decay to impoverished immigrants. Religion has taken a back seat to modern life, while racism and sexism still flourish.

Overall, Facing Athens has been met with praise by critics and readers. Many acknowledged the author's powerful and subtle writing style. "Writing with lucidity and restraint, Sarrinikolaou allows images to quietly resonate," wrote one reviewer for the New Yorker. Others noted the author's special perspective as an asset to the book. "An insightful if melancholy look at a great city from the eyes of one of its own," commented Booklist contributor David Pitt.



Sarrinikolaou, George, Facing Athens: Encounters with the Modern City, North Point Press (New York, NY), 2004.


Booklist, May 15, 2004, David Pitt, review of Facing Athens, p. 1595.

Economist, May 27, 2004, "Athens and the Olympics."

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2004, review of Facing Athens, p. 318.

Library Journal, May 15, 2004, Linda M. Kaufmann, review of Facing Athens, p. 106.

New Yorker, August 30, 2004, review of Facing Athens, p. 97.

Publishers Weekly, May 10, 2004, review of Facing Athens, p. 49.


Bookselling This Week, (February 10, 2005), Tom Nolan, "Greek New Yorker Gives Meaning to his Survival by 'Facing Athens.'"

Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Web site, (February 10, 2005), information on George Sarrinikolaou and Facing Athens.