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'Passage to Ararat' Review

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Passage to Ararat

Passage to Ararat

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In Passage to Ararat, Michael Arlen journeys into his past, arriving in the land of his ancestry. He travels to a land overshadowed by the legendary Mount Ararat, located in Turkey, on the borders of Iran, Armenia, and Nachivan. Under the shadow of Ararat, Arlen learns about, and attempts to come to terms with, the history of his people: the Armenians.

In search of answers, Arlen visits Armenia, telling himself that by exploring the past he will "find the present." In his search for answers, he finds more questions, as the horrors in Armenian history begin to sink in. More than just a dream, or a story, the horrors of racial memory became a reality to Arlen.

One Armenian poet talks about the "intolerable weight of sadness," but Arlen goes on to talk about the deep-seated rage that lies underground, "beneath the skin." But, there seems to be no reason why...

All the massacres culminate in a history of hatred and butchery.

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