A nove / Granish / 2022 / 288 pages

Astghik, Ester and Shushan are researchers from Armenia recruited by an unknown American organization to conduct a research on Syrian and Lebanese Armenians. For that purpose, the women have to travel to first Syria and then Lebanon, where they should meet and interview local Armenians. Upon their arrival in Syria, they catch the attention of the Syrian Secret Service, the Mukhabarat, as foreign agents spying for Israel and the USA. As they move in time and space, the women encounter different people and their stories. Woven into the main storyline of the novel, each story or encounter is also an autonomous, self-sufficient story in itself, thus creating and recreating a complex and multi-dimensional reality of the multiple contexts. On top of everything, the trio has to deal with each other and their pasts, while doing research and being followed and interrogated by the Secret Service. Loosely written in a travelogue style, the novel A Syrian Affair is a semi-documentary fiction with some elements of science fiction. Set in the pre-war Syria, it is an atmospheric, fast-pace, multi-layered and engaging story dealing with the themes of trust, fear, political beliefs, research ethics, womanhood, sexuality, violence, conspiracy, authoritarianism, and history.