Three Apples Fell from the Sky
By Narine Abgaryan, translated by Lisa C. Hayden
Publisher: Oneworld (2020; Russian original: 2015)
Tucked away in their mountain village and connected only precariously to the modern world, the aging villagers of tiny Maran go about their daily lives following the routines and traditions observed in remote Armenian villages for centuries. Against this timeless background of practices and beliefs rooted in age-old legends and proverbs, one character’s sudden premonition of death, an unlikely marriage proposal, and the arrival of children and grandchildren visiting from a city in the distant “North” bring a sudden jolt to Maran’s unchanging rhythms, enlivening the villagers’ gossip and perhaps even giving them unexpected reasons to believe in their future.
“Highly-engaging… The loose-lipped characters […] offer a snapshot of the region’s unfaltering fondness for storytelling.” (The Calvert Journal)
“Abgaryan impresses with finely phrased descriptions of daily activities and homes with ‘chimneys that clung to the hem of the sky,’ and indelible details of complex, humble characters. This magical tale transcends familiar mystical tropes with its fresh reimagining of Armenian folklore.” (Publishers Weekly)
Yasnaya Polyana Award (2016)