Rise the Euphrates

Rise The Euphrates

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Rise the Euphrates

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Rise the Euphrates is a novel by Carol Edgarian. It concerns three generations of Armenian American women living in Memorial, Connecticut during the twentieth century. Rather than focus on a central character, the book contains the story of three generations: the grandmother Casard, her daughter Araxie, and granddaughter, Seta. The struggles faced by each woman show the enduring effects of the Armenian genocide which occurred in 1915 at the hands of the Young Turks. A major theme in both Edgarian’s work and Armenian-American literature is the ability to reconcile the genocide, lost identity, and displacement of the past to life in present day America. In Rise the Euphrates, this reconciliation is symbolized in the recovering of Casard’s lost name, Garod.

Plot summary

Rise the Euphrates begins with Casard’s story. At the time of the genocide, Casard is ten and still goes by her original Armenian name Garod. In Armenian, “Garod” means yearning which is what Casard does the rest of her life: yearn for an Armenia which no longer exists. Casard’s mother’s name is Seta, the same name given to Casard’s granddaughter.

The Turks invaded Garod’s town of Harput, murdering the men and raping many women and girls. Among those to escape rape and death, Garod and her mother Seta are driven out of town into the desert. After walking for two weeks without water or food, the caravan reaches the Euphrates River. The river lies in front of the caravan, and a band of...
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