Rise the Euphrates

An international bestseller, now available in this twentieth-anniversary revised edition with an introduction by the author, Rise the Euphrates reaches back to 1915 Armenia when nine-year-old Casard watches the Turks slaughter her family and hundreds of other Armenians. On a death march through the desert to the Euphrates River, the child witnesses her mother’s death and experiences a betrayal so profound that she forgets her name.

Casard emigrates to America and puts the unspeakable past behind her; yet as the years pass, she infuses her only daughter, Araxie, with a legacy of anger and shame. Araxie willfully marries outside the clan, making her husband and their children odar—outsiders. It falls to the next generation, Casard’s granddaughter, to heal the family. Seta Loon, the novel’s lyrical narrator, is the one upon whom both mother and grandmother pin their pain and hope, their regrets and dreams. “The daughter assumes what is unfinished in her mother’s life,” Seta learns. “The unanswered questions become her work.” Caught between the generations, between American and Armenian cultures in her Connecticut town, Seta confronts an even fiercer division: the one within herself. Seta’s remarkable song, and the wisdom she gains that frees the next generation and restores dignity and meaning to her family’s past, are Carol Edgarian’s stunningly original and groundbreaking triumph in Rise the Euphrates.