The New York Times has recommended reading “The Gimmicks” by Chris McCormick, whose story begins in the early 1970s, nearly 60 years after the Armenian Genocide conducted by the Ottoman Empire.
McCormick, by the way, is of Armenian descent on his mother's side.
The novel follows two cousins in Soviet Armenia who consider themselves brothers: Ruben Petrosian, a promising backgammon player obsessed with politics, and Avo Gregoryan, a large, sweet teenager who eventually becomes a professional wrestler in the United States.
Given the Armenian Genocide perpetrated a little more than half a century ago, the young Armenians’ traumatic reverberations will have unexpected consequences on their lives.
“A thumbnail sketch inevitably makes this novel sound overcrowded and jumbled,” The New York Times reviewer John Williams writes, “but McCormick keeps things admirably nimble, moving the stories forward while shuttling back and forth through time and across perspectives.”
“The Gimmicks” was published in January 2020.