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What is the best-known book set on Cyprus?

See note on methodology

The clear winner by ownership here (though not by tagging) is a famous seventeenth century play, set in a version of Cyprus which is so close to Venice that they hear about a planned Turkish invasion in time to send military assistance to prevent it. That of course is not the point of the plot, which is mainly about racism and poisonous jealousy. As with Scotland and Denmark, the English language's best-known playwright wins again with:

Othello, by William Shakespeare

I know I'm inconsistent on how many other books I include in these posts, especially where there is such a clear winner, but I'm going to give you four more, several of which rather unwittingly expose British attitudes to the former colony. That includes a 1989 historical novel set in the fifteenth century, one of a series in which a Flemish adventurer charms his way across Europe. Second on LT, third on GR, it is:

Race of Scorpions, by Dorothy Dunnett

Second on GR, fourth on LT, is one in a series of mildly humorous mysteries featuring an elderly lady detective, who in this 1997 installment leaves her customary base in Middle England to invesgate Northern Cyprus. It is:

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist, by M.C. Beaton

Third on LT, fourth on GR, is an autobiographical account from 1957 of a British official who was actually the colonial government's chief public affairs officer when the EOKA rising broke out in the late 1950s. He is much better known for his fiction, but this is worth a read also:

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, by Lawrence Durrell

Set in the same period, but a work of fiction, is a 2009 novel about the break-up of a military marriage against the background of the disintegration of the country:

Small Wars, by Sadie Jones

The top book on GR by a Cypriot author is a 2009 collection of short stories, some of them clearly allegorical (the collection appears to be originally assembled for this English edition rather than being a translation of an existing Greek collection):

Gregory: and Other Stories, by Panos Ioannides

The top book by a Cypriot author on LT is a 2001 non-fiction work of Orthodox spirituality:

The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality, by Kyriacos C. Markides

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
saare_snowqueen
Mar. 21st, 2015 10:07 am (UTC)
HA-HA! I'm doing one of my periodic Dunnett re-reads and have just started Race of Scorpions.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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