Nicosia Beyond Barriers

Nicosia Beyond Barriers

Voices from a Divided City

9780863566745 June 2019 Paperback 256pp

About the Book

Finalist the People’s Book Prize 

Cyprus’ capital Nicosia has been split by a militarised border for decades. In this collection, writers from all sides of the divide reimagine the past, present and future of their city.

Here, Cypriot-Greeks coexist alongside Cypriot-Turks, the north with the south, town with countryside, dominant voices with the marginalised. This is a city of endless possibilities – a place where an anthropologist from London and a talkative Marxist are hunted by a gunman in the Forbidden zone; where a romance between two aspiring Tango dancers falls victim to Nicosia’s time difference; and where an artist finds his workplace on a rooftop, where he paints a horizon disturbed only by birds.

Together, these writers journey beyond the beaten track creating a complete picture of Nicosia, the world’s last divided capital city, that defies barriers of all kinds.

About the Contributors

Alev Adil is a performance artist-poet. Her poetry has been translated into eight languages. She is a literary critic for the TLS.

Aydin Mehmet Ali has worked as an arts and education adviser to the London Mayor and Local Education Authorities. She is the founder of Literary Agency Cyprus.

Bahriye Kemal is a research associate and lecturer at the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Kent. She is an active member of Literary Agency Cyprus, Kent Refugee Help, Seenaryo and Women Now.

Maria Petrides is an independent writer, editor and translator. She has been a writer in residencies in NYC, Nicosia, Istanbul, Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, and Geneva. She is translator of Wow (Patakis 2016) and To Teach the Journey (Saita 2016). She the author of A Book of Small Things (2016) and editor of Semiotics (Cambridge Scholars, 2017).


‘Ambitious and enchanting … the selection encompasses a striking diversity of genres and perspectives.’
Jonathan Fryer

‘These pieces of fiction, poetry and journalism offer a cast of diverse narrators … perceptive and peppered with fresh detail’

‘Unifying, inclusive, perspectives which celebrate diversity … vibrant, rich in Levantine tonalities … Nicosia and its inhabitants are liberated on every page of this prodigious volume, with its soul encapsulated by these visionaries. A revelatory read.’
Morning Star