Armenian Books

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Raffi's Picks

These are some of the Armenian books I have enjoyed over the years and recommend. One is Passage to Ararat, by Michael Arlen. It is and 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. Another, Rise the Euphrates is a well written book by Carol Edgarian about the Armenian experience in America, especially the conflicts of assimilation. It had really great reviews and hits close to home. Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel is 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. Another book, which is written by Raffi, the author I was named after, is the incredibly farsighted novel Khent' (The Lunatic) 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. Of course there are many other books including those of William Saroyan who has written many great books. His The Human Comedy was just beautiful. Black Dog Of Fate by Peter Balakian is supposed to be quite good too, I have not had a chance to read it yet. If you haven't read the Kurt Vonnegut book, Bluebeard, I just read it and enjoyed it quite a bit. It is the fictional autobiography of an Armenian man and gives good information on the Armenian Genocide.