I am happy to announce the publication of Mining Memories on Cyprus 1923-1925: Photographs, Correspondence, and Reflections in a Kindle e-book format.
Regular readers will know, through my earlier reports on our travels to Cyprus in 2012 and 2015, that this has been five years in the making. By using an e-book format I was able to include 116 of my photographs from my grandparents’ collection. Moreover, readers can zoom in on the pictures to identify people and places that might be significant to them. It also makes it easily available to anyone with internet access in Cyprus, the US, the UK, South Africa, or anywhere else that people have been affected by this historic mine. And all this for only $3.99.
As a memoir, the book not only introduces readers to the people (especially my maternal grandfather, Charles F. Jackson, and his family), but also to the geography, machinery, and events shaping the early days of re-opening the world’s oldest copper mine. In this little memoir you are stepping into a long history indeed. As you can read in Homer’s Iliad, Book 11: “Atreus’s son…put on his armor of gleaming bronze…that Kinyras gave to him from Cyprus…”
Moreover, I take some time in these pages (do we still speak of pages?), to reflect on what it is to recover pieces of our past, rub off some of the tarnish of forgetfulness, and try to reconstruct a history that binds us to people and places far from our usual paths. As I say in the book, our patrilineal culture tends to subvert or erase the knowledge that accompanies one half of our genetic makeup. The experiences that yielded up this book have enabled me to re-balance my own identity and discover more clearly the traits as well as even the bodily form that constitute what I am.
I also see the book as an invitation to others, not only to recover forgotten or repressed parts of their memory, but also as a reconstruction of their identity. I am keenly aware, all through writing the book, of how Cyprus’s division between Turkish-speaking and Greek-speaking populations has made it very difficult for Cypriots to claim their joint history, appreciate the ecological unity of the island, and find a way toward a workable federalism grounded in a new social covenant among diverse peoples.
In a completely unexpected way, the book and the experiences that gave rise to it form a sequel or counterpoint to the story I told through the voice of Earth in Red Clay, Blood River. There it was a story of Earth’s struggle for unity and integrity in the face of human struggles of division, domination, and exploitation. Here, it is how we humans struggle with healing not only the earth we have dug into to enhance our lives but also the people who have been divided by our ceaseless will for domination.
Whether for healing, for knowledge, or simply for the enjoyment of living for a moment into the lives of people you may never have imagined, I hope that readers will find this book something that expands not only their horizons but also their hearts.
If you want a copy, just CLICK HERE.
Here is the sentence that I appreciate most in your blog, Bill. “I also see the book as an invitation to others, not only to recover forgotten or repressed parts of their memory, but also as a reconstruction of their identity.” Every time I tell my life story to people, I am keenly aware that a “reconstruction” of my identity happens. Thank you for challenging me to engage in such reconstruction. I will read the memoir soon. Thanks again.
Woo hoo!! Thank you for putting it together for everyone. XOXO