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Armenian Books

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Raffi's Picks

These are some of the Armenian books I have enjoyed over the years and recommend.

Passage to Ararat, by Michael Arlen A trip back in time to Soviet Armenia. An interesting account about an American-Armenian who really doesn't know anything about Armenia, but he goes for a long visit and writes this book full of his impressions. Though it was written in the 1970s, some of the observations and experiences remain relevant, and it is interesting to observe some of the changes since the book was written.
Rise the Euphrates, by Carol Edgarian A fictional account of the Armenian experience in America, especially the conflicts of assimilation. It had really great reviews and can hit close to home.
Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel a great novel, it was a bestseller in a few languages back in the 1930s and is a fictionalized account of a village of Armenians who resisted the Turks for 40 days during the genocide - based on a true story.
The Fool (Khent'), by Raffi The incredibly farsighted novel which predicts the genocide. I have scanned in an old translation which is available on this site, or you can buy a more recent translation.
The Human Comedy, by William Saroyan Perhaps Saroyan's most famous work. A somewhat simple and universal tale. My Name is Aram is a great collection of short stories for the young, and the William Saroyan Reader is a great sampler of his work.
Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian An autobiographical work about the author discovering what happened to his family during the genocide. A more academic book by Balakian is The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, which brings to light a wealth of documentation on the genocide from a fresh perspective - that of America's response.
Bluebeard, by Kurt Vonnegut It is the fictional autobiography of an Armenian man and gives good information on the Armenian Genocide.
You Rejoice My Heart, by Kemal Yalcin A Turk repeatedly risks jail to record the never before told stories of Armenians who remained in Turkey after the genocide. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to both Armenians who have a hard time understanding the Armenians of Istanbul, and to Turks who will finally be able to see things from a perspective brought to them by another Turk.