Efronia: An Armenian Love Story

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9781903656020: Efronia: An Armenian Love Story
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Efronia Katchadourian was born in 1894 to a Christian Armenian family living in the Ottoman Empire. In her late eighties, she finally wrote the long-secret story of her ill-fated youthful love for a Persian Moslem during the era of the Armenian genocide. Her daughter-in-law Stina introduces the memoir and interweaves an affectionate narrative that brings together the historical, biographical, and cultural elements of her indomitable mother-in-law's tumultuous world.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A timely reminder of another not-so-distant ethnic cleansing, one that devastated the life of Efronia Katchadourian, subject of this affectionate memoir by her daughter-in-law. A Christian Armenian living in the dying days of Ottoman Turkey, Efronia survived the persecution and genocide brought on by the Turks, then married, and moved to Beirut only to flee that city in the 1970's and join her son and his family in California. There, she began her memoirs, which the author--a journalist and translator--has freely drawn upon. Efronia's entire growing-up was shadowed by the persecution of the Turks, who--unable to govern their decaying empire--turned on the Armenians, with whom they'd previously coexisted peacefully. Efronia's father was killed by a Turkish Moslem when she was a baby; and Efronia herself narrowly escaped the WW I deportation into the Syrian desert, during which thousands perished. The end of the war meant further dangers as the defeated Turks massacred the remaining Armenians in Smyrna and in the interior. But it's Efronia's star-crossed love affair with Ramzi, a young man of great promise, that adds an extra twist of pathos to her story. Because Ramzi was a Persian and a Moslem, Efronia's family forbade her to marry him, even though his family warmly endorsed the match. Efronia later married a fellow Armenian, but, even in her 90s, she'd not forgotten her first and only love. A bittersweet story of a woman and her enormously gifted people, whose tragic history continues today. (Illustrations) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The story of Efronia Katchadourian, written by her scholar daughter-in-law and based upon her son's translation of her autobiography, rewards the reader on several levels. As a record of an Armenian woman's formative years and survival in Ottoman Turkey during the 1915 massacres, it documents the historical crisis of a people. As an account of Efronia's lifelong devotion to a Muslim youth whom she loved and lost during World War I, it stands as a moving story, testifying to the nature of women's lives and to both the strengths and limits of culture and society in that time. Finally, the memoir is absorbing for the force of character that emerges as we read about a woman whose life spanned much of this century and several nations. Recommended for women's literature and regional collections.
- Rena Fowler, Humboldt State Univ., Arcata, Cal.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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