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The Best Books about Armenia

A country with a complex history and celebrated literary culture, we were spoiled for choice when picking our favourite books about Armenia. With its own unique alphabet and a rich oral history, it’s no surprise that the country has produced many great writers. 

From fable-like novels to personal travelogues and moving accounts of the Armenian genocide, there’s plenty to read before your journey through the Armenian Highlands

Two of the best books about Armenia: The Crossing Place and The Forty Days of Musa Dagh

The Crossing Place: A Journey Among The Armenians
by Philip Marsden

Written in 1993, Marsden recounts his travels through Armenia and the Caucasus, with insights into the region’s people, history, culture and landscapes. This is the story of a country caught between opposing empires and religions, and its resilient people. 

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh
by Franz Werfel

Werfel tells the story of the villagers of Musa Dagh who fought back against the Turkish government. When it was published in 1933, the book showed the world what had really happened during the genocide. It has since been considered one of the great novels of the 20th century.

Three Apples Fell from the Sky
by Narine Abgaryan

An international bestseller, this book tells a story of community, courage and friendship. In the tiny Armenian mountain village of Maran, lifelong resident Anatolia is firmly set in her ways, until one day she becomes convinced she is dying. But just as she’s prepared to meet her maker, a neighbour offers an unexpected proposal. 

An Armenian Sketchbook
by Vasily Grossman

Written with warmth and humility, Grossman writes about his experience of editing a translated lengthy Armenian novel. Despite having little interest in the book, he enjoyed the opportunity to spend two months in Armenia, learning about its mountains, ancient churches and people. 

Two of the best books about Armenia: The Thirty Year Genocide and The Small States Club

The Thirty-Year Genocide
by Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi

A thorough history of the atrocities committed during the genocide, this book gives a harrowing insight into Armenia’s violent past and subsequent trauma. 

The Small States Club
by Armen Sarkissian

Armenia’s former president argues that small states can navigate complex challenges in smarter ways than greater powers. With agility and an instinct for survival, smallness can be a great power. 

Two of the best books about Armenia: Lavash and The Righteous and the People of Conscience of the Armenian Genocide

Lavash
by Kate Leahy, John Lee & Ara Zada

Part cookbook, part travelogue, Lavash offers the ultimate introduction to Armenian food and culture. The book centres around the ubiquitous lavash, an Armenian flatbread served with pretty much anything, but also includes recipes for salads, soups, stews and more. 

The Righteous and People of Conscience of the Armenian Genocide
by Gérard Dédéyan, Ago Demirdjian & Nabil Saleh 

This moving history tells the stories of Muslims, Christians, Jews and others who took a stand against the Armenian Genocide. This is a tribute to those who sacrificed so much – often their lives – to stand up against injustice.

 

This is by no means a comprehensive overview of all the best books about Armenia. Other books recommended by our team include:

  • The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey by Dawn MacKeen
  • My Grandmother: An Armenian-Turkish Memoir by Fethiye Cetin
  • My Name is Aram by William Saroyan
  • The Art of Armenia: An Introduction by Christina Maranci
  • Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide by Eric Bogosian
  • There Was and There Was Not: A Journey through Hate and Possibility in Turkey, Armenia, and Beyond by Meline Toumani

If our selection of books about Armenia has inspired you to come cycling and walking through this magical landscape with us, find out more about our journeys or enquire now.

The best books about Armenia, as recommended by The Slow Cyclist

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