EFRONIA by Stina Katchadourian


An Armenian Love Story
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 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)

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 1-55553-172-5
Page count: 160pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993