ISBN: 978-0-9963353-0-0

In this ambitious work of narrative history, a son of survivors of a genocide revisits the past that they could not.


Madenjian (St. Rita of Cascia: Saint of the Impossible, 2011), who grew up in the United States and worked as an editor at an Armenian-English newspaper, writes that he was never able to get his parents to candidly discuss the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Following their deaths, he began writing about his heritage himself. This book, the first in a planned trilogy, begins in the fourteenth century, when the last Latin king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia surrenders to Muslim Mameluk forces. In the unrest that follows, some Christians acquiesce to Muslim rule and others resist. A group of faithful Christian families, led by an aging soldier named Bados, settle a new village in Chongaria, later called Chepni, located in present-day central Turkey. Madenjian descends from these founding families, and by reimagining his ancestors’ lives, he puts indelible characters into the often faceless tales of atrocities committed against the Armenian people throughout centuries of Ottoman rule. The culmination of the conflict came during World War I, when the Ottoman Empire began to dissolve and authorities sought to exterminate the remaining Armenian people. Madenjian describes this genocide largely through the perspectives of his own parents, then just children, who lived through the Chepni massacre. There are moments in this book when the author’s raw emotion leads to unfair generalizations, as when he writes in the introduction that if some Turks “find the opportunity, they will repeat the mass murders, because killing is part of the Turkish instinct and nature.” His taste for detail also sometimes bogs down the narrative, as when he overexplains the causes of World War I. However, his meticulousness pays off beautifully when he reconstructs his relatives’ and others’ experiences.


An exhaustively researched, if sometimes excessively detailed, book about a tragic event in modern history.




On a starlit night, little Hovsep dreams inheriting his uncle's properties if, as according to the law, he dies childless.

Little Varteni thinks, that the deportation is an opportunity to see the world. She soon discovers that it is a death march, while the dream of Hovsep turns into frightening nightmare. Both children will experience many sufferings and fear of death during the forced march that words cannot describe what they have endured.


Summary of content:

-Fall of Armenian kingdom of Cilicia.

-Founding and settling in a new village.

-General massacres of 1894-1896.

-Invasions of Hamidieh Cavalry.

-How and why the Hamidieh Cavalry was formed.

-Shakir Pasha, reformer of Anatolia.

-Resistance of Gemerek and Chepni Armenians.

-Clara Barton in Istanbul to help the Armenian vicitms

-Revolution in Turkey.

-Catholicism in Chepni.

-Massacres of Adana 1909.

-Betrayal of a Hunchak member.

-ARF General Conference in Erzeroum.

-Victory of an Armenian contingent in WWI against German troops. Churchill praises the victory.

-Turkey enters the war; general mobilization.

-Meeting of Enver and Murat Sebastasi.

-The forced deportation of Zeytoun Armenians.

-Resistance of Van.

-April 1915, arrest of Armenian intellectuals.

-July 1915, forced march to nothingness of Armenian women and children.

-Resistance of Musa Dagh.

-Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916.

-Victory of the Armenian Legion in Palestine; Cilica liberated.

-The battle of Marash; French general's cowardice.

-Armenians settle in Syria and Lebanon.



Copyright © Mardig Madenjian 2016, All Rights Reserved