Orhan Pamuk and Dog Son of Dog: A Metanarrative, or Voices From the Other Side of the Border

By Two Harbors Press, PRNE
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A new American novel draws powerful parallels with Pamuk's Snow

LOS ANGELES, September 16, 2010 - In a work of universal resonance, and what may yet be considered a
masterpiece of contemporary literature, the American author of Lebanese
origin, Armen Melikian, engages in a direct conversation with Turkish author
Orhan Pamuk's Snow. Melikian's novel, titled Journey to Virginland, tackles a
broad array of philosophical, religious, political, and gender issues
discussed by Pamuk, and in a sense continues Snow's narrative on the other
side of the border from Kars. Melikian's antihero, a modern-day Diogenes
called Dog, substantially widens the scope of the investigation which Pamuk's
protagonist, Ka, has undertaken to expose a reactionary cultural milieu that
has spawned an epidemic of suicides by young women.

Melikian is a prodigious new voice in American literature. Commenting on
his debut novel, Paul McCarthy, a professor of literature at Ulster
University and a New York Times bestselling author, writes, "I am struck by
the extraordinary writing, vision, and, perhaps rarest of all, originality of
Journey to Virginland. In the best sense, I'm reminded of George Orwell's
classics, and other authors of similar stature, though there is no true
parallel possible with a novel as unique in concept and execution as Journey
to Virginland."

Pamuk's story takes place in Turkey's Kars region; Melikian's novel
unfolds in neighboring Armenia. Both Melikian and Pamuk have been acclaimed
and ostracized in their homelands. Melikian lived in Armenia for three years
before being exiled as a result of his iconoclastic writings. Melikian plans
to have his novel translated into Arabic in 2011, should a suitable publisher
be found, under the title "kitab al-kalb al-armani."

Yet Armenia is but a point of departure in Melikian's far-reaching
critical compass. Soon enough, the reader is given a box seat before the
seismic shifts of our times, the pivotal cultural and spiritual failures of a
world held hostage to hypercapitalism, post-9/11 realpolitik, and an ominous
resurgence of nationalism and religious extremism.

Journey to Virginland stands apart by the exhilarating paths of change
which it proposes. Its dazzling scope, sheer storytelling prowess, and
expansion of the novelistic endeavor as an artistic medium establish this
novel as a rare literary enterprise.

For more information or to get your copy, visit

Rosette Miller, publicity at JourneyToVirginland.com, for Armen Melikian

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