Despo is an Australian photographer visiting the island of her birth, Cyprus, a country divided by invasion since 1974. At a traditional celebration in a village in the mountains, Despo sees the slender figure of a man in white. When she glimpses his face, she remembers him. It is Stefanos, who was the boy she loved before she left the island at the age of fourteen.
Stefanos is defined by the women in his life. In the 70s he was the ‘DJ Prince’, in love with Eleni, the most beautiful girl in town. And there is Katya, a young Russian dancer, who wants to marry him. Then there is Margarita, his soul mate, who adored him from the moment he was born, when she was working as a young prostitute, renting rooms at his mother’s house. And living next-door to him, there is the religious Roula, Stefanos’s playmate when they were children.
As Despo and Stefanos unravel their pasts, each tries to understand the meaning of belonging, love, and loss, amidst a distant glimpse of hope for the reunification of the island.
The shadow of the 1974 invasion is never far from the centre of the narrative thrust. While the book is not political or nationalistic in its tone, it refers to this momentous event in recent Greek history by way of pegging the prompt for Despo's family's reason to leave. ... Stefanos of Limassol is at its heart a deeply tender love story.
ANNA KANNAVA was born in Cyprus and migrated to Australia in 1974 at the age of fifteen with her mother and two brothers. She studied drama, art, photography, film, and screenwriting, and worked as an animator, actor, writer, and director.
Despite being hampered for most of her adult life by a debilitating condition, scleroderma, Anna completed a number of highly personal and poetic films, including the feature films Dreams for Life (2004) and Kissing Paris (2008), and the acclaimed documentaries Ten Years After, Ten Years Older (1986) and The Butler (1997).
After a ten-month fight against cancer, Anna died on 5th May 2011 at the age of 51. Stefanos of Limassol has been released posthumously in honour of her unwavering commitment to life and creativity.