CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The new literary journal Pangyrus includes several pieces by the Armenian feminist writer Zabel Yessayan in its recently-released third issue.
Originally published in 2015 as an online journal, Pangyrus appears in this third issue in hard copy as well as online.
The Yessayan pieces consist of a chapter titled “My Home,” from the Istanbul-born Armenian writer’s memoir, The Gardens of Silihdar; a few pages from the author’s eyewitness account of the aftermath of the 1909 Adana massacres, In the Ruins; and the chilling mystery story “The Man,” published in the collection titled My Soul in Exile and Other Writings.
The Yessayan material is reprinted from the three books of Yessayan’s writings translated into English and published by the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) as part of its series titled Treasury of Armenian Women’s Literature.
The Yessayan section of Pangyrus is preceded by a two-page description of Zabel Yessayan’s life and literary significance and is accompanied by several photographs.
Almost forgotten until recently, Yessayan (1878-1943) was a leading figure in the literary renaissance that took place in Western Armenia in the late 19th and early 20th century. After receiving her primary education at the Holy Cross School in Istanbul, Yessayan became one of the first Ottoman women to study abroad when she went to Paris and enrolled in the Sorbonne. Her articles, essays, and books quickly established her reputation as a leading writer associated with progressive circles in Paris and in Istanbul.