The short fiction of Karine Khodikyan can be described as intellectual fiction for women. These short stories with a “mystical touch” tell stories about women – young and old, happy and sad; even when the protagonist is not a woman, the story will immerse you into the life of a woman, revealing her role in anything and everything.
This book was published with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia under the “Armenian Literature in Translation” Programme.
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Endorsements and Review Quotes
“Karine Khodikyan is one of Armenia’s foremost writers, with a body of work encompassing plays, film and TV scripts, fiction, and journalism. Armenian literature, like others of the Caucasus, is surely under-represented in the English-speaking world, but now Khodikyan’s collection of short fiction, The Door Was Open, has – via Nazareth Seferian’s smooth translation – been made available in English with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia.” Rosie Milne, Asian Review of Books
“Khodikyan’s deft prose accomplishes something quite rare: it plumbs the depths of the human psyche and presents moral quandaries in realistic ways without being didactic. Her wonderfully dark tales limn the boundary between reality and fantasy, the concrete and the fantastic. […] Yet she never makes a final or definitive statement about an issue or person and often leave stings open ended, sometimes even turning things on their head at the very end. The result is evocative, sometimes scary, always interesting.” Christopher Atamian, The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
“Khodikyan has a way of blurring time so the reader feels as though they’re floating in time at times. The vivid prose style comes through at the time with a richly descriptive style at time sticky dark floors the translator has done a great job keeping such passages that add to the feel of darkness in the stories. I keep saying tales as there is at times a feeling of dark fairy tales in the collection.” Winstonsdad’s Blog
Nazareth Seferian has been translating Armenian literature to English since 2011. A native English speaker, Nazareth was born in Canada and grew up in India, before moving to Armenia in 1998, where he now resides. His published translations include the novel Yenok’s Eye by Gurgen Khanjyan in 2012 and the collection of short stories The Clouds of Mount Maruta by Mushegh Galshoyan in 2015. The Armenian literary anthology Makukachu, published in 2016, contained Nazareth’s translations of stories by Ani Asatryan, Anna Davtyan, Vahe Budumyan, Byurakn Ishkhanyan, Nara Vardanyan, and others. Nazareth’s translation of Nara Vardanyan’s Amour was featured among works by 14 Eastern European authors in Trafika Europe: Essential New European Literature, Volume 1, published in 2016. He translated the collection Stories from Armenia, written by Artavazd Yeghiazaryan and published in 2018 as part of a cultural project funded by the European Union. Nazareth’s work was also part of a collection of the translations of Armenian literary giant Hovhannes Tumanyan, published on the occasion of the writer’s 150th anniversary in 2019. Among pieces that are awaiting publication, Nazareth Seferian has translated short stories and other pieces by contemporary Armenian authors such as Areg Azatyan, Levon Shahnur, and Hamlet Melkumyan. Nazareth has translated several works by contemporary Armenian authors, including Jesus’ Cat by Grig, Robinson by Aram Pachyan, and The Door was Open by Karine Khodikyan.