• Imprint: Saqi Books
  • ISBN: 9780863565380
  • Published: September 2000
  • UK Price: £17.95
  • Format: 153 x 234 mm (Royal)
  • Binding: Hardback
  • Extent: 545pp
  • Subject:

A Summer Without Dawn

An Armenian Epic

Agop J. Hacikyan

Jean-Yves Soucy

Through the epic story of a family, A Summer Without Dawn recounts the tragic fate and struggle for survival of the Armenian people during World War I.

Vartan Balian, a fugitive from Ottoman persecution, scours the Turkish Empire under incredible conditions in search of his wife, Maro and their son, Tomas, both departed from ancestral lands with tens of thousands of compatriots.

Maro and her son manage to escape the ongoing genocide only to find shelter in Riza Bey, a wealthy Turkish governor who falls deeply in love with Maro.

Almost four years will pass before Vartan and Maro are reunited. Can they overcome the bitterness and doubts of separation, and will they be able to forgive and forget each other’s intervening relationships: hers with Riza Bey and his with the passionate Aroussiag, who saved him from certain death at the risk of her own life? And what of their son Tomas, who mysteriously disappeared from Riza Bey’s home. If he ever returns, would they want him to find safety in a free Armenia – still a dream to them– or in a new life far away in America?

First published in French to huge acclaim, this translation will now allow the English-speaking reader insight into Armenian history through the story of the Balian family.

About the Authors

Agop J. Hacikyan is a Canadian university professor and writer of Armenian descent. He has resided in Quebec since 1957. He is the author of various literary and linguistic works, including novels, essays, and translations.

Jean-Yves Soucy is a published Quebecois novelist. He is the author of several novels, essays, tales, and short-stories. He has also written for television and radio.


'Not since Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago and the works of Kundera has a novel seemed as moving and as indispensable.' Voir

'Haunting ... A Summer without Dawn is a penetrating examination of man's inhumanity to man ... This fascinating epic is hard to put down.' Ottawa Citizen

'The characters are real heroes of a type seldom seen, larger than life ... A captivating novel.'
Le Droit

'A gripping novel'
Montreal Journal