First English Translation of ‘Awakening’ Launching Next Month


flyer 4-page-001GLENDALE—Sardarabad Bookstore will host the book release of Awakening on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 7PM. The event will take place at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center, located at 201 E Colorado St. Glendale, CA  91205.

The event will mark the launch of the first English language translation of Malkhas’s classic four-part work, Zartonk (Awakening), an Armenian novel initially published in Boston, Massachusetts in 1933. It will feature a discussion panel on the story of the project’s making with the translator, editors, and publishing team.

The translation project, which was initiated four years ago, came to fruition when Sardarabad Bookstore partnered with the Sosé & Allen’s Legacy Foundation and brought together a team including Simon Beugekian (translator), Dr. Carole Viers-Andronico (Editor), Dr. Talar Chahinian (Editorial Director), Sako Shahinian (Creative Director).

Awakening (presented in 3 Volumes) tells the story of young Armenians who comes of age during a period in Armenian history known as ‘zartonk.’ Meaning awakening in Armenian, ‘zartonk’ refers to the rise of collective consciousness among Armenians living across three empires: Russian, Ottoman, Persian. Through the entangled lives of its characters, Awakening recounts stories of activism and heroism, love and camaraderie that emerge out of years of servitude, oppression, and ignorance. The story develops over a fifteen year period (1903-1918) and offers glimpses into the Armenian revolutionary movement, the 1915 genocide, and the establishment of the first independent Armenian Republic.

Following its initial publication in 1933, Zartonk was reproduced in serial form and reprinted in various diaspora communities. Over the course of its many publication runs, Zartonk became a household staple and an emblematic piece of popular literature for generations of Armenians growing up in diasporic communities. The novel’s action-filled, page-turner quality, its central romantic love story, and its vivid descriptions of Armenian life in the villages of the Ottoman empire or central cities of the Caucasus have inspired diaspora Armenians searching for their own history.

Admission is free. Book sale and reception to follow the program.

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