- Category : 1965-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (23)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Wishes 2
Greek-Australian experimental writer, editor and short-film maker whose controversial novel "Loaded" has been critically acclaimed as a forerunner in a new genre of "queer" multicultural fiction that explores issues of sexual politics and "intercultural racism."
Tsiolkas was born in 1965 in Melbourne, the city with the largest Greek population outside Athens. His Greek immigrant parents were both factory laborers and he was raised in an inner-city Greek district. He attended Melbourne University and completed a BA in 1987. That year he also became editor of the student newspaper "Farrago," later contributing to and co-designing the literary "Arena" magazine. Since then he has worked a variety of jobs but remains committed to a career in writing with occasional forays into Super-8 film-making.
His first semi-autobiographical novel is the gritty "Loaded" 1995, an insightful exploration of 24 hours in the life of a young alienated and nihilistic bisexual working class man from an immigrant minority culture. In this continuous monologue, the angry and confused protagonist, Ari, tries to deal with his outsider status as an unemployed drug user who is neither wholly Greek nor Australian, nor entirely straight or gay, in a contemporary world that values wealth and well-defined categories. Ari's best friend Johnny/Toula is a drag queen. The book is loaded with uncompromising and frequently shocking language, and is filled with rough sex, hard drugs, and popular film and musical references, as the 19-year-old Ari proceeds in a
Hell-bent fashion to destroy himself on his journey through Melbourne's Greek, gay and pub cultures. "Loaded" was followed by "The Jesus Man" 1999, while the forthcoming "Dead Europe" deals with ghosts of anti-Semitism within Greek culture. Tsiolkas co-authored "Jump Cuts: An Autobiography" in 1996 and many of his short stories have also been published. His acclaimed plays include "Whose Afraid of The Working Class?", "Blue Poles" and "Elektra AD." He co-made the short film "Thug" that appeared on SBS's "Eat Carpet" in 1998. The highly successful film "Head On," 1998, is based on "Loaded" and stars young Greek-Australian heartthrob Alex Dimitriades as Ari and gay diva Paul Capsis as Johnny/Toula. Tsiolkas currently co-edits the alternative literary publication "Refo." He has been in a committed relationship with his boyfriend since the mid-1980s.