Photo of Lusine Kharatyan

Lusine Kharatyan is a Yerevan-based writer, cultural anthropologist and translator. Born and raised in Soviet and post-Soviet Armenia, she lived and studied in different parts of the world, including Egypt and the USA. Her writing is significantly influenced by her anthropological research, fieldwork, and travels. Kharatyan’s first novel ծուռ գիրք (The Oblique Book), was published in 2017. Her second book, collection of short stories Անմոռուկի փակուղի (Dead End Forget-me-not) was published with a monetary prize from the First Yerevan Book Fest, and  shortlisted for the 2021  European Union Prize for Literature. In 2019, Kharatyan was awarded a grant from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia for writing her second novel, Սիրիավեպ (A Syrian Affair), which was published in 2022. Kharatyan holds a masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota (2004), a Diploma in Demography from Cairo Demographic Center (2000), and a Diploma of higher education in History/Socio-cultural Anthropology from Yerevan State University (1999). Since 2018, Kharatyan is a member of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

© Picture Arpine Avagyan

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Սիրիավեպ (A Syrian Affair)

Astghik, Ester and Shushan are researchers from Armenia recruited by an unknown American organization to conduct a research on Syrian and Lebanese Armenians. For that purpose, the women have to travel to first Syria and then Lebanon, where they should meet and interview local Armenians. Upon their arrival in Syria, they catch the attention of the Syrian Secret Service, the Mukhabarat, as foreign agents spying for Israel and the USA. As they move in time and space, the women encounter different people and their stories. Woven into the main storyline of the novel, each story or encounter is also an autonomous, self-sufficient story in itself, thus creating and recreating a complex and multi-dimensional reality of the multiple contexts. On top of everything, the trio has to deal with each other and their pasts, while doing research and being followed and interrogated by the Secret Service. Loosely written in a travelogue style, the novel “Syriavep” (A Syrian Affair) is a semi-documentary fiction with some elements of science fiction. Set in the pre-war Syria, it is an atmospheric, fast-pace, multi-layered and engaging story dealing with the themes of trust, fear, political beliefs, research ethics, womanhood, sexuality, violence, conspiracy, authoritarianism, and history.​ 

Book cover of Սիրիավեպ

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