DEARBORN, MICHIGAN — The Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn has announce the publication of the English translation of the short novel of exile, The Bois de Vincennes, by one of the prominent Armenian-French authors, Nigoghos Sarafian. Originally published in Armenian in 1947, the work is best known by its French-language title, which has been retained in this English translation. Ably translated by Christopher Atamian, this novel introduces to the English-speaking world, the mind of one of the Armenian Diaspora’s most complex writers. The book also features an introduction by Prof. Marc Nichanian, who discusses Sarafian’s intellectual world.
In this book readers see the effect of exile caused by the Armenian Genocide on Sarafian. He lived in Paris from 1923 to his death in 1972 and was a member of the Menk (“We”) group of Armenian-French writers who attempted to renew and redefine (in part through their eponymous journal) Armenian identity in its new Diaspora setting. This book is in some measure a way for Sarafian to come to terms with his own exile and the exile of the Armenian people in general. It is also an extended meditation in and on the Vincennes Woods, a park just outside Paris, where he spent time in solitary contemplation.
Christopher Atamian, the translator of this work, is a New York-based writer, filmmaker, and producer. The Bois de Vincennes is his first published, book-length translation.
The book’s publication was subvented through a generous grant from the Ajemian Foundation, in memory of Robert Ajemian. The Ajemian Foundation is a Michigan-based organization with an interest in promoting Armenian-American cultural activity.
The Bois de Vincennes (ISBN 978-1934548-02-8 or 1-934548-02-2) is distributed by Wayne State University Press and can be purchased from national chain booksellers, special ordered from smaller bookstores, or ordered from major online retailers like Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. The retail price is $20.