By Micheline Aharonian Marcom
Micheline Aharonian Marcom's impressive and lauded fiction debut, Three Apples Fell from Heaven, depicted the lives shattered by the Turkish government's brutal campaign that resulted in the deaths of more than a million Armenians. Now, her second novel, The Daydreaming Boy, carries forward the story of the refugees from the twentieth century's first genocide, and it shows the growth of this young writer as a gifted and fearless stylist.
Vahe Tcheubjian is an upstanding, unremarkable member of the Armenian community of Beirut in the 1960s. He and his wife attend concerts and dinners, and partake of the sophisticated, continental culture that distinguishes the Beirut of his time as a cosmopolitan capital on the Mediterranean, the "Paris of the Middle East." But inside, Vahe is in turmoil-racked by memories of the escape from the campaign of genocide, the years spend in a Lebanese orphanage, the brutalities of his fellow orphans, ferocious and desperate and unloved. He seeks refuge in an outrageous and graphic fantasy life that flirts dangerously with emotional catastrophe, just as the Beirut he has come to adopt as his home edges toward a devastating civil war.
Riverhead books a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (2004)