The Lives of Others
“For the past 10 years, since February 2009, I’ve been writing the Sunday profiles for the Cyprus Mail newspaper…”
Theo Panayides tells the stories of 60 very different people, taken from the many hundreds he’s interviewed over the years. All human life is here – from a humble street sweeper to a former President, from a pig farmer to a millionaire businessman, from a lifelong drifter to a pastry chef turned Iraqi refugee, from an LGBTI activist to a mystic who claims to have spoken to Jesus.
World-champion freediver William Trubridge is here. Bestselling British novelist Victoria Hislop is here too. Some lives have been successful, others tragic. One man lost his family in the Rwandan genocide, another in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Some of the stories are emotional; many are feelgood. Most relate in some way to Cyprus, the Mediterranean island where Panayides is based. With a smart, highly readable style and a deep compassion, he reveals the personalities of his very diverse subjects – though also finds himself returning often to the same questions of Time passing and life turning out unexpectedly, finding many of the same hopes and fears in these very different lives. Are they – and we – really so different, after all?
Panayides is such a terrific writer and interviewer that I still remember profiles he wrote from 10 years ago. His characters jump off the page. Most are Cypriots, including visitors from the diaspora. And they’re from all walks of life… Entertaining, intelligent, highly recommended.
Mike Theodoulou former Middle East correspondent for The Times (London)
Theo Panayides has compiled a unique reading experience: introducing readers to sixty different lives from the rich and famous to the lowly and dispossessed, capturing not only their unique story but more importantly their essence.
Richard Romanus Actor and Author