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Rise the Euphrates [Kindle Edition]

Carol Edgarian
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Book Description

Available for the first time in digital format, Rise the Euphrates received universal critical praise and popular appreciation when it was first published in 1994.

If you haven’t already read this captivating multigenerational American story, or if you’re rediscovering Carol Edgarian after reading her stunning new novel, Three Stages of Amazement, you’ll want to own this lovely digital first edition of her debut work, about which the Washington Post said:

“This is a book whose generosity of spirit, intelligence, humanity and finally ambition are what literature ought to be.”

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Is it better to embrace an agonizing past, or to put it aside at the risk of losing one's ethnic identity? Edgarian's strong-voiced first novel embodies this painful question in the story of three generations of powerful women. Casard comes to America after losing her parents and brother during the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Turks. Overwhelmed by survivor's guilt, she clings to her native land's traditions and is enraged when her daughter Araxie marries a non-Armenian. At the center of the two women's wrenching struggle is Araxie's daughter Seta, who must ultimately balance her Armenian and American identities, discharging debts to both her mother and her grandmother. The author argues convincingly that our strongest relationships are established on a level beyond words or rational thought. While perhaps too reliant on the mystical transmission of knowledge (Casard whispers the secrets of her past to the infant Seta at her baptism), the narrative believably renders conflicts and deep affection among parents and children, lovers, husbands and wives. Largely inarticulate male characters lack the women's depth and passion, and the need to provide historical background occasionally leads to clumsy passages. These are relatively small faults, however, in a novel that is a valuable addition to American immigrant literature. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This lyrical first novel examines three generations of Armenian American women alternately united and divided by the burdens of history as the narrative moves from early 20th-century Turkey to suburban Connecticut in the 1990s. Grandmother Casard Essayan, who alone of her family survived the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians, carries a burden of guilt that drives her daughter Araxie into a marriage with a non-Armenian, George Loon. Araxie's love-hate relationship with her mother fills her with inchoate longing echoed in her daughter, Seta, whose destiny beckons her to relieve her grandmother's guilt and to find the fulfillment that her mother lacks. Weaving these three lives together with the mythic and commonplace dimensions of Armenian life, this novel works as an acute study of mother-daughter relations, a paean to an often overlooked ethnic group in America, and a sensitive coming-of-age story. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.
- Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 575 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Narrative Library (February 7, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,981 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable!! June 15, 1999
By A Customer
My boss's father, who is Armenian, loaned me this book two years ago and I found it to be one of the most unforgettable novels I've ever read. I read an average of 2 to 4 novels a month and most of them get donated to our local library when I'm finished (including most of Oprah's picks). Few books merit a permanent home in my personal library but this will certainly be one of them. Unfortunately, it is out of print and now I'm desperately trying to locate a copy. The first chapter was one of the most emotionally painful & horrific reads I've ever encountered. I'll never forget the characters of this book or their collective experiences that span three generations. This book must have a second printing... and Oprah, you have GOT to read this one.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I've read hundreds of books. Mostly fiction. This book is one of the best I've read. It reads like a beautiful and sad ballad. I purchased this book on a whim after reading the inside cover and am so thankful I did. It is far better than every best seller I've read. After reading this one I was inspired to read anything and everything about Armenians and this horrible period in history. I have quite a collection of books now. This is the only book to date that I would read a second time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this book is realistic...says this odar November 20, 2010
By jcc
i am guessing anyone that rates this book terribly low does not know any armenians personally and knows little or nothing about the genocide as well. i can tell you that i married into an aremenian (and greek) chicago family in 1999. this book does capture quite a bit of the fascinating, interesting, and entertaining nature of the armenians in america. reading the author's account of a second generation armenian growing up in the 1970's -i assume 1970's-was pretty right on and a fun and thoughtful read. not only a great snapshot of this 1970's family (and its history before) but a horrific glimpse of the genocide that continues to hover over these people (in the past indeed, yet always there.) why anyone decides they can or should annihilate any other person or specific race/nationality is beyond comprehension...luckily people like this author are here today to laugh, cry, decipher and share their unbelievable story. i am certain all aremenians who were born in america since the genocide can relate to this book...especially the women.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! July 29, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of my all-time favorite reads. I have no Armenian connection (and not much previous knowledge of Armenian lit), but fell in love with this book for its story--a weaving together of the ups and downs of family, firsts, growth, love. It is a gift to readers who want to dive into a story that is filled with heart and with hope, and are looking for those moments in writing that leave you speechless. Highly recommend!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Edgarian, from her peers October 7, 2004
I was extremely moved by this book, as were all my friends who read it, and I would like to share what Amy Tan, Robert Stone, and Rick Bass had to say about it:

"Carol Edgarian is a remarkable writer of intelligence and compassion. She has written an important story that is at once unique and universal. In RISE THE EUPHRATES, history and personal story deftly intertwine to create a complex of emotions and questions about humanity, love, and family." -- AMY TAN

"RISE THE EUPHRATES begins with vivid, chilling scenes from the Armenian holocaust, follows one of its orphans to the New World and becomes a commentary on the variety of the American experience. It is a wonderfully written family chronicle, full of observartion and insight, that both moves and entertains." -- ROBERT STONE

"How often do you get to read a book that captures you so entirely and deeply that it controls your days, measures them out and defines them by how long it will be before you can get to your next night's reading? RISE THE EUPHRATES is one of these rare treasures: a work of power, grace, beauty, and exquisite tenderness." -- RICK BASS

Since the publication of RISE THE EUPHRATES, Edgarian has been at work on a new novel, has published numerous pieces in magazines, and edits a prominent magazine of her own. If you would like to find out more about her work, you can locate her online at [...]
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like bring wrapped in a warm blanket June 29, 1999
By A Customer
With every turn of the page, I felt more and more like I was reading my own family's story. I have never been so personally affected by a book before. Thank you Carol Edgarian!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uneven and self-indulgent December 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is a curious mix of successes and failure. Some of the characters are memorable and sharply drawn (the grandmother, Theresa), others are just a collection of cliches and forgettable (the narrator who is the voice of the novel most unfortunately). I'll admit that I lost interest in the story about 2/3 of the way into it. This was because the plot was so meandering and I had ceased to care about the characters. The best thing about the novel is its treatment of the Armenian genocide (a freighted term, which if you are already informed about this historical period you will know). The early sections dealing with this are terrific and memorable. Once the action is transferred to Connecticut it starts to deflate. Also praiseworthy is the treatment of the Armenian diaspora in the U.S. With a lot of editing to sharpen the focus and weed out the family drama cliches this would have been a better book. Oh well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A little too much wordiness if there is such a word.
I am half Armenian and my mother, grandmother and uncle were impacted by the atrocities so I am very interested in any story about Armenian people. Read more
Published 7 months ago by RICHARD J TRINGALE
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was eager to read this book, because it was (kind of) about the Armenian genocide. I hoped it would be as substantial as The Sandcastle Girls and The Gendarme, both of which... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Prof Lesa
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writer
I loved her second novel and was disappointed in this one mainly because it simply had less emotional "juice" in its presentation.
Published 22 months ago by Faye Reitman
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
Well drawn female characters however the dad and oldest son are thin secondary characters. Did not feel I needed to know about Armenian-American history to appreciate the novel.
Published 23 months ago by Erik
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spellbinding Tale of Three Generations of Women
I read a lot, and this is one of my favorite novels. It is one of the great pleasures of life -- a book with the kind of depth that catches your attention and won't let go. Read more
Published on August 20, 2010 by LBW76
This may not be the worst novel ever written, but then again it might,according to the New York Magazine review which essentially made this first novel the poster child for... Read more
Published on April 19, 2002
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More About the Author

Carol Edgarian is an author, teacher, editor and publisher. Her novels include the recent New York Times bestseller Three Stages of Amazement and Rise the Euphrates, hailed by the Washington Post as "a book whose generosity of spirit, intelligence, humanity, and finally ambition are what literature ought to be and rarely is today." Her articles and essays have appeared in many national magazines, and she co-edited the popular collection drawn from great writers' diaries,The Writer's Life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame.

In 2003, she co-founded the non-profit Narrative Magazine (, the leading digital magazine for storytelling--publishing more than three hundred artists each year. The Narrative archive contains thousands of stories, poems, essays and interviews enjoyed by readers and students of all ages around the world for free.

A graduate of Stanford University, Carol lives in California with her family. Follow Carol on twitter @caroledgarian, or at

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