Chris Bohjalian

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The Sandcastle Girls

book | Fiction | 2012
US & Canada → Doubleday (Ed. Jenny Jackson)
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Aleppo, Syria she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The year is 1915 and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to help deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo and travels south into Egypt to join the British army, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.

Fast forward to the present day, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents' ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed "The Ottoman Annex," Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura's grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family's history that reveals love, loss - and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for The Sandcastle Girls


Translation Rights Sold

Tsitsernak Publishing House
Editions Leduc.s
Matar Publishing House
Lit Edizioni
Pantagruel Forlag AS
Editora Companhia Nacional
Aras Publishing
The Sandcastle Girls Norway
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This is a powerful and moving story based on real events seldom discussed. It will leave you reeling. Elizabeth Dickie
Full Review

This rendering of one of history's greatest (and least known) tragedies is an nuanced, sophisticated portrayal of what it means not only to endure, but to insist on hope.
Life Lift - The Oprah Blog
Full Review

Dead-solid perfect. Bohjalian is a literary novelist unafraid to reference Proust's madeleine and expect readers to get it. But his books are also filled with artfully drawn characters and great, passionate storytelling. The Sandcastle Girls is all that, but different, more powerful. Curt Schleier
The Seattle Times

Bohjalian succeeds in depicting the horror, without sentimentalizing it... .He has fulfilled the duty of anyone seeking to document a genocide — he ensures that we don’t look away. Julie Wittes Schlack
The Boston Globe
Full Review

Bohjalian deftly weaves the many threads of this story back and forth from past to present, from abuse to humanity, from devastation to redemption. His ability to add irony and wit makes the contrasting horrors even more intense. . .Staggering. . .[and] utterly riveting. Eugenia Zukerman
The Washington Post
Full Review

Stirring. . .A deeply moving story of survival and enduring love. Carol Memmott
USA Today
Full Review

It takes a talented novelist to combine fully ripened characters, an engrossing storyline, exquisite prose and set it against a horrific historical backdrop — in this case, the Armenian genocide — and completely enchant readers.
Associated Press
Full Review

Bohjalian - the grandson of Armenian survivors - pours passion, pride, and sadness into his tale of ethnic destruction and endurance. Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Full Review

Great read. . .an affecting tale set at the time of a lesser-known holocaust, 1915's Armenian genocide.
People Magazine
Full Review eye-opening tale of longing and discovery...a bittersweet reflection on hope even in the darkest circumstances. Amy Driscoll
The Miami Herald
Full Review

A romance so beautiful and believable it hurts. Nicholas Addison Thomas
The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
Full Review

The Sandcastle Girls will remain ingrained in your consciousness. Wendy Plotkin
The Armenian Weekly
Full Review

Bohjalian's writing style never rings a false note as it moves from present-day New York to the tragedy of World War I, his characters are as real as our own relatives. The well-researched history that forms the background informs, intrigues, and enchants - even as recollections of horror mount. Brandy Hilboldt
The Florida Times - Union
Full Review

Remarkably supple...Bohjalian keeps his eyes on the personal, the little moments that illuminate broader social movements...Moment by moment, and passage by passage, the novel lights up a disturbing period of history. Margaret Quamme
The Columbus Dispatch
Full Review

Sober, elegiac, and respectful. Margot Harrison
Seven Days
Full Review

A moving multi-generational saga...riveting...a sober, elegiac, and touching novel. Usha Rao
Full Review

Bohjalian powerfully narrates an intricately nuanced romance with a complicated historical event at the forefront. With the centennial of the Armenian genocide fast approaching, this is not to be missed. Simply astounding. Julie Kane
Library Journal
Full Review

Bohjalian's powerful novel...depicts the Armenian genocide and one contemporary novelist's quest to uncover her heritage...His storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read.
Publishers Weekly
Full Review

The Sandcastle Girls is deft, layered, eye-opening, and riveting. I was deeply moved. Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed
Full Review

A gruesome, unforgettable exposition of the still too-little-known facts of the Armenian genocide and its multigenerational consequences.

Kirkus Starred Review
Full Review

Chris Bohjalian is at his very finest in this searing story of love and war. With breathtaking richness and accuracy, he fully delivers us to Syria in 1915, with all its difficult history. I was mesmerized from page one. Bravo! Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

Jane Gelfman

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Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
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