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NATIONAL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE - Cyprus
In the age of David Hockney, Derek Jarman, Kenneth Anger and Andy Warhol, when bisexuality was at first radical and then trendy, a young man is faced with the ambiguity of sexual roles and oscillates between In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower and Special Friendships.
A frank and moving coming of age autobiographical novel about self discovery, love, art, sexual and artistic identity. A journey leading from the swinging London of the late '60s to contemporary Alexandria.
Weaving personal experience with modern social and historical events, internationally acclaimed Cypriot artist Andreas Karayan brings forth IMMORAL TALES, a book inhabited by colourful characters that captures the essence of life.
IMMORAL TALES is one part of a semi-autobiographical trilogy, but it is autonomous; it follows a young man's search for his artistic and sexual identity during his formative years.
Art and passion converge in Andreas Karayan's cosmopolitan gaze. His trilogy explores key historical, political and social events which have shaped contemporary Europe, as the backdrop for both the life of his protagonist and his own. More specifically, "Immoral Tales: London - Alexandria," Karayan explores the world-changing events of late 60's and early 70's in London, and how they influenced his decision to abandon medicine for the arts. The second part of the book explores the pre-revolutionary contemporary Alexandria.
The first of the genre in this part of the world, the book fosters a better understanding of art and sexuality, while emphasizing LGBT and other human rights issues. It is considered a landmark in Cyprus, since it is the first to explore themes which were previously considered taboo.
Grounds for the Literary Award
The book is a candid look at the life of the author, in the form of an autobiographical novel. Through a patchwork of images, Andreas Karayan succeeds with real verve and sensibility in describing the conflicting attractions of his body and soul. The book is a profound self-examination, which blends organically place and time, conveying their atmosphere elegantly with a disarming sincerity. It is in essence a bold attempt to seek identity without the author resorting to self-censorship. On the contrary, he unveils himself and his conflicts finding in the process of writing wholeness, in the interaction of art and life. The writer swathes the facts of his life in a poetic myth and successfully sketches characters who, with their individuality, are in the end transformed into dramatis personae. The whole is presented in an airy manner, with a sense of humour and self-mockery, but also with rich cultural references which bear witness to a good education.