YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–Skylark Farm will be soon translated into Turkish, announced the book’s author Antonia Arslan during a press conference related to the Golden Apricot International Film Festival, which opened Monday in Yerevan.
Skylark Farm is a novel chronicling the life of a family struggling for survival during the Armenian genocide in Turkey, in 1915.
At the center of the story is Yerwant, who, at 13, left his home in the Anatolian hills of Turkey to study at an Armenian boarding school in Venice. In May 1915, after 40 years, he plans a long-awaited reunion with his family at their homestead, Skylark Farm. But while preparations for Yerwant’s arrival are being made in the town of his birth, Italy enters the Great War and closes its borders. At the same time, in Turkey, Yerwant’s family begins a brutal odyssey of forced marches and prison camps, hunger and humiliation at the hands of the Young Turks who are determined to rid their nation of minorities. In the unfolding story Yerwant’s family struggles to survive and as four of its children set out on a dangerous and daring course of their own: to reach Yerwant, and safety, in Italy.
Arslan draws on the story of her own family to tell the story of Skylark Farm. She has transformed the “obscure memories” that are her heritage into a novel as lyrical and poignant as a fable.
The book has been made into a film produced and directed by the acclaimed Italian Taviani brothers and is the centerpiece of this year’s Golden Apricot. During the press conference, Arslan said Turks tried to prevent the shooting of the movie on the basis of the book.
Quoting the Taviani brothers, Arslan expressed hope that the film will be screened in Turkish schools. She said the simultaneous presentation of the film and the book was a great event for her. Arslan explained that not being a historian, she tried to objectively present a story connected with the fate of her own family, through which the story of other Armenian families was also told.