Kazantzakis spent most of the Occupation secluded on Aegina. It was at this time that he turned to novel writing. In 1942 he went to Athens, where he met Sikelianos for the first time in twenty years, and asked the Homeric scholar I. T. Kakridis for bibliographic assistance in translating the Iliad.
After the Germans withdrew he returned to the capital, which was in the grip of civil conflict, and became involved in politics. He applied for election to the Academy of Athens, but lost by two votes; at the same time he was elected President of the Greek Writer’s Association.
In the summer of 1945 he toured Crete as member of the Government Committee for the Verification of German Atrocities. In November 1945 he married Eleni Samiou and was appointed Minister Without Portfolio in the Sofoulis government, but resigned three months later.
In early 1946 he attended the performance of his play Kapodistrias at the Royal Theatre, and in May of the same year was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, together with Angelos Sikelianos.