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Greek writer Menis Koumandareas murdered

08 December 2014, 18:52

Athens - Acclaimed Greek author Menis Koumandareas, found dead in his Athens home over the weekend, was beaten and strangled, autopsy results showed Monday.

The author, who lived alone in the working-class district of Kypseli, also had wounds on his face and abdomen, a police source said.

Koumandareas, 83, had reportedly dined with a friend at a restaurant in the neighbourhood on Friday evening.

According to media reports, he excused himself at one point, saying he had to return to his flat.

The writer was found lying on his bed, his apartment in disarray.

The door showed no signs of forced entry, police said.

Police were still piecing together what happened and have not given any possible motives for the crime.

Koumandareas wrote some 20 novels, short story collections and essays starting in the 1960s, and he twice won the state novel prize. His writing has been translated into several languages.

"The tragic death of Menis Koumandareas deprives Greek literature of one of its greatest authors," Greece's Culture Minister Kostas Tasoulas said in a statement. "Over the past half century Koumandareas has expressed with his unparallelled sensitivity and personal style the hopes of contemporary man and society."

Known also for translating Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Koumandareas drew sober portraits in his works "Mrs Koula" and the "Glass Factory" of post-war Athens' upper middle class and its small shopkeepers.

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