Cypria: A Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean -- A Gripping New History of Cyprus (Hardback)
  • Cypria: A Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean -- A Gripping New History of Cyprus (Hardback)
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Cypria: A Journey to the Heart of the Mediterranean -- A Gripping New History of Cyprus (Hardback)

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Hardback 352 Pages
Published: 09/05/2024
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Waterstones Says

From the myth of the Cyclops to the 1974 Turkish invasion, Christofi's sweeping history of Cyprus combines the natural beauty of the island with the bloody turbulence of its twentieth century in lyrical prose.

An evocative and lyrical history of Cyprus and the Mediterranean. Think of a place where can you stand at the intersection of Christian and Arab cultures, at the crossroads of the British, Ottoman, Byzantine, Roman and Egyptian empires; a place marked by the struggle between fascism and communism and where the capital city is divided in half as a result of bloody conflict; where the ancient olive trees of Homer's time exist alongside the undersea cables which link up the world's internet.

In Cypria, named after a lost Cypriot epic which was the prequel to The Odyssey, British Cypriot writer Alex Christofi writes a deeply personal, lyrical history of the island of Cyprus, from the era of goddesses and mythical beasts to the present day.

This sprawling, evocative and poetic book begins with the legend of the cyclops and the storytelling at the heart of the Mediterranean culture. Christofi travels to salt lakes, crusader castles, mosques and the eerie town deserted at the start of the 1974 war. He retells the particularly bloody history of Cyprus during the twentieth century and considers his own identity as traveler and returner, as Odysseus was.

Written in the same sensitive, witty and beautifully rendered prose as his last book Dostoevsky in Love, with a novelist's flair and eye for detail, Cypria combines the political, cultural and geographical history of Cyprus with reflections on time, place and belonging.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781399401883
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

In this beautifully-written book, Alex Christofi tells of the contradictions that make Cyprus so fascinating, an island as ageless as its olive trees and contestations over its historical memory. - Marc David Baer, author of The Ottomans

Christofi sees Cyprus from both the inside and outside, as a returnee and a traveller. The result is a modern, original book that reinvigorates writing about place in an arresting, lucid, and connected way. It puts the island back in the middle of the map, brought to life in Christofi's always beautiful, erudite prose. - Sophy Roberts, author of Lost Pianos of Siberia

Clear, erudite and wonderfully affable, Christofi’s ability to fuse his own family's relationship to Cyprus with that of its wider history, makes Cypria a necessary and illuminating read. Warm, poised and informative, Christofi’s reach is expansive, bringing Cyprus into sharper focus without jettisoning or shying away from complex and sometimes unpleasant aspects of its recent past. - Anthony Anaxagorou, author of After the Formalities

This beautifully-written book is a delight from start to finish, with gems on every page. Alex Christofi is a fond yet even handed guide to Cyprus. If you have never been this book will make you want to go. - James Barr

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