I was brought up in the catholic faith, with the Damoclean weight of original sin hovering over my head. Sex was a sin, because I learned that the apple our forefathers ate on losing Paradise was not an apple but a banana.
This is how the age of innocence begins and ends for the hero of True Story, taking its title from Lucian. Except that Lucian’s stories are untrue, whereas these are the true adventures, told with directness and humour, of a young man in Cyprus and Athens during the ‘50s and ‘60s, when the provincial and the cosmopolitan were in conflict, and collective suffering stifled personal tragedy or comedy.
Ouzounian Street, a microcosm of old Nicosia, the first erotic escapades, a Franciscan Friar’s catholic boarding school, sexual awakening, the discovery of “difference” and, later, years of guilt and confusion vividly come to life in a daring self-portrait, created by the painter Andreas Karayan, not with his brush this time, but with his pen, with which he demonstrates the art of portraiture in prose.
The true story follows Dark Tales (Armida Books, 2020) and Immoral Tales (Armida Books, 2014)