Alexandros Papadiamantis is the most eminent out of numerous authors and intellectuals born on the island of Skiathos. He was born in 1851 and his father was the priest Adamantios (Diamantis) Emmanuel. The author remained at Skaiathos until the second class of the Hellenic School (an intermediate stage between elementary and high school) and then moved to Skopelos, to Piraeus and finally to Athens where he graduated from the Varvakion School. After his graduation he was registered in the Faculty of Letters of the University of Athens, from where he never graduated, mainly because of personal economic problems.
From 1879 he started to publish his writings, both poems and prose, in reviews and newspapers. In 1882, the well known romance Emporoi ton Ethnon (“the Tradesmen of the Nations”) was published in sequels in the weekly newspaper of Vlassis Gabrielides Me Hanessai, which later became the daily newspaper Acropolis. At the same time he undertook translations of various foreign works in order to earn money. In 1884 Acropolis published another romance, the Gyfropoula (“the Gipsy girl); the newspaper offers to him an almost permanent work of reporter, translator and press corrector, which lasts until 1897. In 1902 Papadiamantis returns to Skiathos where he remains for another two years, occupied in writing his masterpiece Fonissa (“the Murderess”). In 1908, again in Athens, the Philological Association “Parnassos”, under the auspices of the princess Maria Bunaparte, organized an honorary event for his 25-years period of writing. Afterwards the author returns back to his home island where he died in 1911. He was buried in his beloved Skiathos and later on, a bust, made by the well known sculptor Thomopoulos was erected on his tomb.
The work of Alexandros Papadiamantis has been influenced from his close environment, both of Skiathos and of Athens. In his writing he represents the life of the simple everyday people of his island and of Athens. It is not without reason that he is considered at the leading ethnography author of Modern Greek Literate, and a discerning student of human psychology. His work, now highly esteemed worldwide, has been certainly influenced by the Russian Literature of the epoch, especially by Dostoyevsky. Nowadays, both his novels and his few romances keep published again and again and are very popular. Some of his works, as Fonissa became successful films and others, as Gyftopoula and Empori ton Ethnon, serials in the Greek television.