An extraordinary, powerful, moving novel of the lives of villagers during the tragic Armenian experiences in Turkey, told by the granddaughter of one of its victims.
In most of our minds, there is a faint memory of references to the Armenian massacres. During World War 1, the Turkish authorities – concerned about the large Orthodox Christian community in their midst – decided to remove that threat to their national survival: so the Armenians were removed, deported, killed, left to die, in their hundreds and thousands. An earlier example of ethnic cleansing.
Micheline Aharonian Marcom has woven the stories of her characters on their epic journey, using myth and Armenian fables, family diaries and her own imagination, to create an inescapable sense of the terror of a world torn apart, but also of the ultimate instinct for survival of the human spirit.
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‘Marcom faces the well-nigh impossible task of speaking the unspeakable. She rises to this challenge…by writing a relatively short, intensely vivid, novel. The fierce beauty of her prose both confronts readers with many breathtaking cruelties and carries us past them…as we turn the pages of this dark and brilliant book, we feel ourselves to be in the presence of a noble act.’ New York Times Book Review
‘Such material presents a heavy burden for any writer. But Marcom is so talented that…she seems quite capable of carrying it. Her debut will stay with readers for a good long while.’ Chicago Tribune
‘Reading this heartbreaking, beautiful, painful first novel is a bit like reliving an extraordinarily long dream…This book is not for the faint of heart, but its readers will be well rewarded.’ Publishers WeeklyFrom the Back Cover:
'Three apples from heaven,
one for the storyteller,
one for the listener,
one for the eavesdropper.
A remarkable new novel from an extraordinary new story teller.'
Between 1914 and 1917, over one million Armenians living in Turkey died, disappeared or were deported. To the Armenians and many others it is an example of genocide. To the Turks, allied to Germany and concerned about the loyalty of so many Armenian Christians living so close to the border of a then equally Christian Russia, it was a matter of national security, a kind of apartheid. Intermixed with this was the third ethnic strand, that of the Kurds: the result was a million people on a long journey – a situation we recognise from today's sorrows.
But however much this is based on family memories and history, 'Three Apples from Heaven' is a novel, and its characters Anaguil, Sargis, their mothers, their families, Turkish neighbours and the innocent, ignorant yet well meaning American ambassador, all live strongly on the page. They show how the most unlikely characters can find the greatest strengths when faced with the disruption of their world. Their discoveries, and their lives both before and after the diaspora, intermingle with Armenian fables and echo down the century. We are given a vivid moving picture of an earlier ethnic cleansing which has powerful contemporary relevance.
All those who enjoyed 'The Joy Luck Club, Captain Corelli's Mandolin' and 'Fugitive Pieces' will find a similar pleasure in Micheline Aharonian Marcom's writing and her understanding of humans – of all of us – in such a tragic situation.
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Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0002261928