Written as a literary experiment while its author was simultaneously translating the poems of Armenian writer Shushanik Kurghinian into English, A Book, Untitled reads on its surface as a translator’s diary.
In her experimental feminist work, Armenian writer Shushan Avagyan juxtaposes the imagined encounter between two early twentieth-century feminist writers, Zabel Yesayan and Shushanik Kurghinian, with a conversation between the author and a friend, and the author’s own meanderings on censorship, translation and literature. Presenting interspersed and unidentified voices, Avagyan introduces lines from letters written from prison by Zabel Yesayan to her daughter Sophie, and the conversation between Avagyan and her friend Lara who are contemporaneously searching for the writers’ lost legacies.
What are the lines that separate the narrative plots, present and past? What is historical, what is imagined? What has been, and what is still being censored? A poetic reflection on authorship, A Book, Untitled represents a new and bold approach to autofiction.