New novels inspired by stories of surviving Genocide and its legacy

Published: Wednesday May 18, 2011

Mary M. Kandalian-Aslanian’s novel Alhambra: Shadows of Memory was published at the end of 2010 in Yerevan, Armenia.Alhambra Mary M. Kandalian-Aslanian


It is a story of an Armenian woman, a Genocide survivor, in whose life Alhambra – in the city of Granada, Spain – plays a significant role. On the train to Granada, Maria meets a Gypsy flamenco musician to whom she later confides the life and love story of her grandmother. Her chance encounter on the train and her visit to Granada will change Maria’s life, as predicted by the Gypsy.


Mary M. Kandalian-Aslanian is a writer, translator and graphic designer born in Yerevan, Armenia, and graduate of the Yerevan State University’s department of Romance-Germanic Languages and Literature.


Since 1983 she has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her short stories and articles have been published in Ararat, Navasard, Milvia Street, The Armenian Observer and Grakan Tert (publication of the Writers Union of Armenia). Some of her short stories are included in collections of modern Armenian-American short stories published by the Writers Union of Armenia. Her first book, Here & There, a collection of bilingual (Armenian, English) short stories was published in 2007. Mary Kandalian-Aslanian is a Diaspora member of the Writers Union of Armenia.


Some excerpts from reviews about the book:


“Three years ago we had the opportunity to get acquainted with Mary’s bilingual (Armenian-English) collection of short stories. This novel that came after that is unexpected, which delights and surprises. This is a book which is political and national, and is international,” said the President of the Writers Union of Armenia Levon Ananyan. “This book presents Armenian-Gypsy relationship for the first time: two families, two civilizations, two tragedies – I mean the Armenian Genocide and [bombing of] Guernica,” he said. (Quoted by Vanik Santryan in “Story of an Armenian Woman with Reflections from her Past” published in Hayastani Hanrapetutyun, January 26. 2011)


“The book reads in one breath. Bright dialogues and an exciting plot are interspersed with pages of history that help you feel a particular era. Numerous facts about Gypsies and Spaniards, as well as the Armenian people suggest that the novel ‘Alhambra: Shadows of Memory’ may generate a wide interest among Spanish, Hungarian and foreign readers in general.” Artsvi Bakhchinyan, Armenologist, and writer.


“The writer has studied many scholastic books and literary works to recreate the lifestyle and traditions of a distant era, to present to the reader the full color of Spanish culture, ethnic characteristics of the life of the Gypsies, as well as Armenian traditions and history, including the Genocide of 1915… The book covers a wide time period, and the narrative alternate with historical passages. Moreover, all the events in the book take place against the backdrop of famous music of Andalusian Gypsies – flamenco, and its rhythms and colors are felt throughout the narrative.” Magdalena Zatikian, “The History of Armenia in the Rhythms of Flamenco” in Golos Armenii, February 3, 2011


Alhambra: Shadows of Memory by Mary M. Kandalian-Aslanian

A novel (in Armenian)

260 pages, quality paperback

VMV-Print, Yerevan, Armenia

ISBN 978-9939-60-073-4

For inquiries please contact: [email protected] 

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