Ilias Venezis was born in Ayvali, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) in 1904. Ιn 1922, when 1.5 million Greeks were displaced from Asia Minor, eighteen-year-old Venezis was taken prisoner and sent to serve as forced labour for fourteen months in central Anatolia. This experience informed much of his writing, including his novel Number 31328. He was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, histories, travelogues and more. His work has been translated in many languages. In 1957 he was elected to the Academy of Athens. He died in Athens in 1973.
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