A popular Facebook fundraiser is in search of financial support to publish “Yerevan Tales,” an illustrated book of Armenian short stories that combine history and fantasy.
“The response to the fundraising drive has been heartwarming,” said Arpy Maghakyan, author of the book. “Over 60 individuals have donated right away, including prominent Armenia-based intellectuals with very limited financial resources,” she said.
Although the cost of printing alone is $9,000, the online fundraiser’s aim is to raise $4,000.
Maghakyan described receiving offers from publishers for the rights to the book: “However, having spent years writing it, I intend to protect my intellectual property, which is why we have chosen crowdsourcing to help with printing costs.”
Written in Eastern Armenian,” Yerevan Tales” consists of eight magical short stories.
These stories include:
- “The Story of the City of Love” («Սիրո քաղաքի հեքիաթը՝ Երևան»), which tells of the Urartu-era founding of Yerevan.
- ”Red Hill” («Կարմիր բլուր»), which recounts the adventures of a future archaeologist who, as a young boy, sleeps on a hill that he decades later unearths as a lost civilization.
- “David of Sasun” («Սասունցի Դավիթ»), which introduces readers to Yerevan’s oldest resident, a dwarf named Rudolf who is so old that he met the legendary David of Sasun over a thousand years ago.
According to the fundraising page,” Yerevan Tales” is intended “for children aged 7 to 100.”
Yerevan Tales has already received rave reviews. In the words of a local teacher who read an early draft, “I have always loved Yerevan more than any other city, but I never knew why—until I read Yerevan Tales!”
Similarly, upon reading the draft of the book, a 10-year-old reviewer reportedly asked his parents for a visit to Armenia’s Matenadaran in order to get a glimpse of the mystical times mentioned in “Yerevan Tales.”
Copy editor Levon Galstyan, who has served as head of the State Language Inspectorate and Deputy Minister for Education, believes that, “Yerevan Tales should be considered for inclusion in secondary schools’ mandatory curriculum.”
Arpy Maghakyan is a Yerevan-based writer, journalist, art director, and mother of two children. She has worked as an investigative journalist, directed numerous plays in Armenia, and currently directs acting at Armenia’s National Opera.
Maghakyan has previously authored short stories to raise awareness about social and human rights issues, including the popular “Three Women, Who Want to be Happy” (« Երեք կին, որոնք ուզում են երջանիկ լինել »), which was published in Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times) in 2010.
As of April 10, which marks three days of fundraising, over $2,000 has been raised in support of the publishing. Individuals interested in supporting the publication of Yerevan Tales can donate on Facebook until April 27.