Orhan Pamuk and Dog Son of Dog: Voices From the Other Side of the Border

September 10, 2010

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ — In a forthcoming novel of ideas mirroring the breakneck paradigm shifts of the 21st century, Los Angeles writer Armen Melikian engages in a direct conversation with Turkish author Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. Melikian’s novel, titled Journey to Virginland, tackles a broad array of philosophical, religious, political, sexual, and gender issues discussed by Pamuk, and in a sense continues Snow’s narrative on the other side of the border from Kars. Melikian’s antihero, a modern day Diogenes called Dog, substantially widens the scope of the investigation which Pamuk’s protagonist, Ka, has undertaken to expose a reactionary cultural milieu that has spawned an epidemic of suicides by young women.

Melikian is a prodigious new voice in American literature. Commenting on his debut novel, Paul McCarthy, a professor of literature at Ulster University and a New York Times bestselling author, writes, “I am struck by the extraordinary writing, vision, and, perhaps rarest of all, originality of Journey to Virginland. In the best sense, I’m reminded of George Orwell’s classics, and other authors of similar stature, though there is no true parallel possible with a novel as unique in concept and execution as Journey to Virginland.”

Pamuk’s story takes place mostly in Turkey’s Kars region; Melikian’s novel unfolds in neighboring Armenia. Both societies have for centuries shared Ottoman rule. Both Melikian and Pamuk have been at turns acclaimed and ostracized in their homelands. Melikian lived in Armenia for three years before being exiled as a result of his devilishly iconoclastic writings.

Yet Armenia is but a point of departure in Melikian’s far-reaching critical compass. Soon enough, the reader is given a box seat before the seismic shifts of our times, the pivotal cultural and spiritual failures of a world held hostage to hypercapitalism, post-9/11 realpolitik, and an ominous resurgence of nationalism and religious extremism.

Journey to Virginland stands apart by the exhilarating paths of change which it proposes. Its dazzling scope, sheer storytelling prowess, and expansion of the novelistic endeavor as an artistic medium per se, establish this novel as a rare literary enterprise.

For more information about Orhan Pamuk’s unexpectedly appearing and archetypal “double,” whom Pamuk once searched for in Istanbul, or to get your copy of Journey to Virginland, visit www.JourneyToVirginland.com

SOURCE Armen Melikian

Source: newswire

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