In The Name Of The Father And The Son
A novel, in Armenian. Out of print. 156 pages. Published in 1999, Los Angeles.
The worlds of Hrair and his father collide in 1980’s Hollywood, when a young prostitute, running away from her pimp, finds shelter at their apartment. Hrair, a school teacher by day and an actor by night, falls in love with the prostitute. While the father, living in his cocoon, desperately tries to find a lasting home for his vast collection of books.
Baba ve Ogul Adina
Translated into Turkish and published in Istanbul in 2008.
Why we should read…
‘In the Name of the Father and of the Son’, a novel
by Vahe Berberian
156pp, 1999, LA, California, USA, $15
Armenian News Network / Groong
May 15, 2000
By Eddie Arnavoudian
‘Every story has an end and every end, its story. This is the story of an ending. The story of my father’s ending’. Thus begins Vahe Berberian’s latest novel ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son’. Like his first novel ‘Letters from Zaatar’ this one also casts a critical eye on aspects of contemporary life in the USA. Hrair, the narrator, a teacher at an Armenian school and amateur actor, reconstructs the history of his relationship with his father beginning his account at the point when their humdrum existence is disturbed by a prostitute seeking refuge from her violent pimp. As the story unfolds Vahe Barbarian, with his simple, fluent and agile Armenian, reveals features of that complex of emotions which constitute the perennial drama of father-son relationships.
The family home in which father and son live alone is a cold and barren place. It has none of that sense of security or human warmth we normally associate with the concept of home. It is in fact no more that a physical convenience. Despite their physical proximity father and son are in reality remote, isolated, emotionally paralysed, full of suppressed mutual anger and silent bitterness. But then Jamie the prostitute appears: a catalyst who shakes up their ossified, ritualised everyday life and brings to the surface suppressed loves, feelings and needs. Indeed ‘the girl’, as Jamie becomes known, will prove Paul Nizan’s dictum that ‘There is no desert in human life over which the grass cannot grow again.’ She proves but in a manner that would startle even the most imaginative reader.
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