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Myrto Azina

Myrto Azina Chronides (b.1961) was born in Nicosia, Cyprus. Since her early years, she has written many essays and poems. She won several literary prizes at the Pancyprian Gymnasium for poetry and prose, and published her first book, Hemerologion, at the age of fifteen. After graduation, she specialized in General Medicine at the academic hospital of the University of Bonn in Euskirchen. Since 2007, she has been working in Cyprus at the Department of Medical and Public Health Services. She has received a positive critical reaction for her modern and unconventional writing style, while her short stories have featured in many literary magazines and in two national anthologies.


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Winning Book

To Peirama (The Experiment)

In short, Myrto Azina’s book could be described as a study on erotic love and the soul. A couple’s sexual relationship forms the central theme running across most of the stories. From the beginning, He and She, the book’s protagonists, take a pledge to undergo an ‘experiment’: to understand the nature of erotic love and their relationship by abstaining from carnal contact so as to devote themselves to writing. She is an unbowed woman who claims her freedom. He is, “a wise man, a believer in the Socratic saying, ‘All I know is that I know nothing’”. To Peirama’s peculiar, subtly connected narrative houses a collection of tales that lean towards the structure of a synthetic prose piece, neither novella nor novel. Consequently, the book is an original work, which does not fit easily within any traditional genre of creative prose.

Publishing House

Armida Publications

Translation Deals

  • Albania: Morava Publishing House
  • Bulgaria: Uniscorp Ltd
  • Croatia: V.B.Z. Ltd
  • Czech Republic: Dauphin
  • Lithuania: Alma littera
  • North Macedonia: Tri Publishing Centre
  • Serbia: Karpos
  • Spain: Editorial Bercimuel SL
  • United Kingdom: Garnet Publishing Ltd

Translated Excerpt

Translated by Irena Joannides


Three nights now he wouldn’t cross the threshold into the bedroom. He watched from a distance — how she had spread out her papers, piled up her books and pencils on their bed, with the window open in the dead of winter so she could see, as she would say, the moon. If he had not experienced similar situations in the past, he would have thought she had entered menopause and that the hot flashes had started. But he recognized the fire in her eyes, the gaze of a mad woman, as she would call it, and knew that hand too well — nervously moving back and forth over the paper like the needle of a sewing machine that incessantly hems a skirt. Then again, she did not invite him, nor provoke his touch. A fire was burning her body, but he was not the cause. The juices kept circulating. Black bile, blood, air, mucus, as had been recorded centuries ago by Paracelsus, starting with Hippocrates. She was poisoned by words. And there was something else — something that she did not wish to confess to him yet. Under their bed, for days now, a trapdoor had been created out of nothing. It must have been two or three days after Christmas, when they were laying in bed together and those strange cries tore the air. She jumped up, looked out the window, and exclaimed: "Oh look! Look, I tell you, some white birds are flying to the moon." And he half-raised his torso, stretched, saw the birds, and explained: "Snow geese. How strange! How did they ever get to our parts? We’re sure to get a lot of snow this winter." "I'd love to be a bird," she said. "To fly over houses, trying to reach the highest mountains. To play with the rigging of boats and roost in the tall towers of castles. And when I miss you, to turn back into a woman, in your arms." "Tree you are, moss you are...” he recited a verse by Ezra Pound to her. Rights sold to: Bulgaria: Balkani, Czech Republic: Nakladatelstvi Dauphin, Germany: Groessenwahn Verlag, Romania: Meronia, Serbia: Karpos, UK: Garnet Publishing.

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