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LIVING ON (working title)

Narine Abgaryan

  • Original Title: LIVING ON
  • Publication date: January 2018
  • Publisher: AST
  • Country: AM
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 20th century, 21st century
  • Location setting: Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Survival, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, War and other conflicts, FAMILY, Filiation, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Life change, Death, Resilience, Facing failure, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Intolerance

Pitch

A bitter, dark and heartbreaking account of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, an ethnic conflict (1980s-2015) between the Armenian population and Azerbaijan.

Comments

Longlisted for the National Bestseller Award 2019.

Narine Abgaryan is an Armenian writer. She is the author of eight books, including her bestselling (over 100,000 copies sold) and prize-winning (The Manuscript of the Year 2010 and Russian Literature Prize) trilogy about MANYUNYA. Her other book for children, SEMYON ANDREICH, received BABY-NOSE from New Literature Prize in 2013, as the best children’s book of the decimal.

Summary

During a shelling, Agnessa dashes out of a basement shelter to find warm stockings for her daughter. The girl runs after her mother but slips in the open doorway; she dies, and Agnessa loses one foot in an explosion. The local gravedigger, Tsatur, falls in love with Agnessa after her injury, and they marry. Of their three children, Agnessa names the youngest after the first-born daughter she lost to war. Tsatur’s mother, Arusyak, helps the couple with their housekeeping. Arusyak’s parents and her nieces (the daughters of her beloved sister, Anichka, who lived on the other side of the border) disappear during a pogrom. Arusyak’s husband, Tsatur’s father, responds to their loss by leaving for the war, never to return. But Anichka survives, and she ends up helping her elderly neighbor, Atanessa, whose only surviving son emerges from the pogroms with a severe disability.
"Abgaryan’s book collects an abundance of short stories. They follow one after another, like links in a chain: a secondary character in one story becomes the protagonist of the next, one tragedy brings along another, and so on ad infinitum. But the book’s atrocities and murders and horrors of war tend to rest mercifully behind the framework of the novel, and its focus rests instead on tears, scars, loss, and memory. From this mass of woe, from personal and collective trauma (including that of her own family), Abgaryan weaves a funeral wreath that does not so much recall a place as mourn the dead."

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  • Author’s biography

    Narine Abgaryan is an Armenian writer. She is the author of eight books, including her bestselling (over 100,000 copies sold!) and prize-winning (The Manuscript of the Year 2010 and Russian Literature Prize) trilogy about MANYUNYA +, a busy and troublesome 11-year-old in a small Armenian town Berd. Abgaryan’s other book for children, SEMYON ANDREICH, received BABY-NOSE from New Literature Prize in 2013, as the best children’s book of the decimal.
    Narine Abgaryan is also the editor of several books of anthologies of Russian modern prose-writing.
    Since 1993 Narine lives in Moscow with her husband and a son.