The Princes’s Islands

Joachim Sartorius / Translated by Stephen Brown

‘This book is a ravishing account of the enchantment of a poet by the landscape, the light and the people of this archipelago. Sartorius kindles in us the wish to buy a ticket and set off to 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.

Exploring the islands’ history, landscape, and culture with poetic verve, Joachim Sartorius draws a loving portrait of this microcosm of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Turkish identity and of the myriad characters who call it home.

JOACHIM SARTORIUS is a poet, translator, and cultural critic. He grew up in Tunis and spent twenty years in the German diplomatic service in New York, Istanbul, and Nicosia. He was secretary general of Goethe Institut until 2000, and from 2001-2011 he was director of the Berlin Festival. He is the author of My Cyprus and Syracuse.

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