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Yervant Odian


Yervant Odian (also known as Eruand Otean, Ervand Otian, Edouard Otian and doubtless other variations) was born in a suburb of Constantinople in 1869. As he was a sickly child, he was privately tutored, which enabled him to get an excellent education. He traveled extensively throughout Europe with his uncle. He wrote his first novel at the age of twenty-three, called Victim of Love, which was published in the newspaper Hairenik. In 1896, as a result of the persecutions of Sultan Hamid, he left the country, which he described in his book Twelve Years Away from Constantinople. He attacked the rule of the pashas and, in 1905, when he was living in Egypt, he was attacked but he continued to criticise.

In 1908 the revolt of the Young Turks ended the rule of Hamid II and Odian returned to Constantinople. However, the changes he had hoped for did not materialize. During this period he wrote several novels, including Ընկեր Բանչունի (Comrade Panchoonie). He also edited a newspaper and four monthlies, did other journalist work, translated Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and wrote three plays. In 1915, like many of his fellow Armenians he was a victim of the attacks on Armenians and was deported. Unlike, many of them, he managed to survive and returned to Constantinople. When the persecutions started again in 1922, he left the country for good, living in Beirut, Bucharest and, finally, in Egypt where he died in 1926.

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Yervant Odian
Yervant Odian (1869-1926)


[Only books translated into English]
1911 Ընկեր Բանչունի (Comrade Panchoonie)
2009 Accursed Years: My Exile and Return from Der Zor 1914-1919