The Princes’ Islands

Joachim Sartorius / Translated by Stephen Brown

‘This book is a ravishing account of the enchantment of a poet by the landscape, rekindling in us the wish to buy a ticket at once and embark on for the islands.’
Orhan Pamuk


Off the coast of Istanbul, in the Marmara Sea, lie the Princes’ Islands. An archipelago of unusual natural beauty, they have long been considered the maritime suburb of the imperial capital on the Bosporus and effectively shaped by its manifold history.

The poet Joachim Sartorius draws a loving portrait of the landscape and the light; the political observer Sartorius describes the microcosm, which was always a reflection of Istanbul–Constantinople–Byzantium, while the novelist Sartorius introduces us to the characters, who inhabit this time capsule.

JOACHIM SARTORIUS is a poet, translator, and cultural critic. 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 he was director of the Berlin Festival. His the author of The Geckos of Bellapais, and a forthcoming book on the city of Syracuse, in Sicily.

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

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