Magical realism, one of the most interesting literary movements in recent history, masterfully taking place in present-day Cyprus.
An inconceivable miracle transpires in a humble mountainous village of Cyprus.
Mountainous Spilia, the Greek word for Cave, provides the setting for the immaculate conception and birth of an unseen, incorporeal, amorphous Christ.
Set in the middle of the twentieth century in the mountainous Cypriot village of Spilia, Census follows the pregnancy of cancer patient Maria, who conceives during her single intercourse with the angelically handsome young Michael, visiting from Patmos, the Aegean island of John’s Revelation. The gestation culminates in the “nativity” at a Nicosia clinic, of a bodiless, unseen Christ.
An allegorical Christmas story, Census is a challenging novel. Its twists and turns are mindboggling, they cause disbelief; but once the initial layer of dust settles, you can go on and relish the flow of the narration which is replete with unworldly dimensions and a miracle that splinters the reader to the very core.
A novel of rare literary and philosophical aesthetic and behind the profoundly philosophical, religious even subplot of the novel, the writing flows clear and fresh like water from a spring.
Boasting repeated editions in Greece and Cyprus and multiple translations, this award-winning novel by Panos Ioannides, replete with magical realism, is riveting in terms of conception and execution: a sacred metaphysical thriller that redeems and purifies the reader. A masterpiece in the art of fiction and the recipient of the Cyprus National Prize for Literature, 1973