A Book, Untitled

Shushan Avagyan


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Tilted Axis Press
14 December 2023
ISBN: 9781911284888

From the publisher

Translated by Deanna Cachoian-Schanz

Winner of English PEN award 2023

What is history, undocumented? How do we archive censored lives? A poetic reflection on authorship and erasure, A Book, Untitled is an intimate and innovative approach to autofiction and the act of remembering.

In her first novel, Armenian writer Shushan Avagyan tells the story of a fictional encounter between Shushanik Kurghinian and Zabel Yesayan, two early twentieth-century pioneers of feminist literature, whose legacies have been obscured in Armenian history. Their fictive meeting is interspersed with conversations between the author and her friend Lara, who are researching the work of Kurghinian and Yesayan. While sifting through censored documents, unpublished works, and unfinished drafts, they linger in speculation and piece together lives that have been overshadowed by the Tsarist and Stalinist regimes.

At once electric and ephemeral, A Book, Untitled is a story of re-cognition otherwise—posthumous, imagined, and intricately powerful.