It is almost axiomatic that literary revolution is born from periods of great upheaval or flux. A case in point is Journey to Virginland, the first novel by Armen Melikian, which registers a genuine literary revolution by not only breathtakingly mirroring the seismic shifts of its time, but positioning itself vis a vis an ominous global paradigm with an exuberant, eminently judicious vision of human transformation.
The first Epistle of a trilogy, this novel made a splash in the international literary scene when it was published in 2012. In his review of Melikian’s debut, Paul McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author and a professor of English at the University of Ulster, Ireland, wrote: “I am struck by the extraordinary writing, vision, and, perhaps rarest of all, originality, which abounds in every way, and at so many levels and depths of meaning, theme, narrative, etc., that I had to keep slowing my pace, until I could read and ‘inhale’ each word.”
In certain respects reminiscent of the novelistic tapestries of James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Umberto Eco, and others, this novel achieves its singular effect by masterfully interlacing its twin frameworks: Melikian’s universe of ideas, with its lucid tappings into history, religion, philosophy, and mythology; and the devilishly twisted history of Dog, the protagonist, whose picaresque odyssey through the maze of hyper-capitalism, post-9/11 realpolitik, and the imbroglios socioeconomic reconfiguration translates into an impassioned quest for identity and meaning.
In its style, tone, and kaleidoscopic yet highly calibrated thematic diversity, Journey to Virginland has fast established itself as an extraordinary example of literary revolution. Ultimately, however, what makes the novel stand apart is the exhilarating paths of change which it proposes, true to the great legacies of literary revolution.
Interested in reading a new literary revolution classic? Get your copy of Journey to Virginland today!