My Cyprus

Joachim Sartorius / translated by Stephen Brown

‘A delightful book.’
Times Literary Supplement

‘A must-read for anyone heading to Cyprus or in need of a summery armchair getaway.’


In the mid-1980s, Joachim Sartorius spent three idyllic years in Cyprus. As an outsider with a diplomatic passport, Sartorius was both figuratively and literally equipped to explore both sides of this ancient island that had been divided into two by civil war a decade earlier. Before long, he found himself intimately connected with its people and places.

A reflection on Sartorius’s time there, My Cyprus goes beyond history and politics to reveal deeply personal stories from its inhabitants. Yet the book’s stand-out protagonist is Cyprus itself; a paradisiacal backdrop that belies centuries of invasion and settlement. My Cyprus is an enduring portrait of an island like no other.

JOACHIM SARTORIUS is a poet, translator and commentator. He grew up in Tunis and spent twenty years in the diplomatic service in New York, Istanbul and Nicosia. He was Secretary General of the Goethe Institut until 2000, and from 2001-2011 was Director of the Berliner Festspiele. He lives and works in Berlin. A collection of his poetry, Ice Memory (Carcanet, 2006), is available in English. He is the author of The Geckos of Bellapais (HBK Edition) and The Princes’ Islands.

STEPHEN BROWN is a playwright, translator, and cultural critic.

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