Aram Pachyan

Portrait Aram Pachyan
Aram Pachyan [© Umar Timol]

Aram Pachyan was born in Vanadzor, the capital of Armenia’s Lori province in 1983. From 1999 to 2004, he studied at the Law Faculty of Yerevan State University. In 2002 he was honored by the British East-West Centre and the Centre for Comparative Law for his active participation in the seminars »Case Law – European Convention on Human Rights«. He participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2003 and received a recognition as the best speaker. From 2008 to 2009 he practiced law, after which he left his firm and devoted himself to literary writing.

His texts appeared regularly in literary magazines such as »Grakan Tert«, »Eghitsi Luys«, and »Narcis«. After winning the Gretert Prize twice for the best short story, his works were included in the collection of modern Armenian prose »Anthology 18–33« in 2009. In 2010, his first book, a collection of short prose, was published under the title »Robinson: Short Stories« [Eng. 2020]. This was followed by his first novel »Goodbye, Bird« [2012; Eng. 2017], which became a bestseller in Armenia. The protagonist is a 28-year-old former army man who falls into his memories of his ex-girlfriend, childhood friends, and comrades from the army, barely finding his way back to civilian life. The novel was adapted for the stage under the title »I am Vegetarian« in 2017. The premiere of Armenian composer Arsen Babajanyanʼs chamber opera based on the novel released in Munich 2021. The anthology »Ocean« [2014] contains short stories and essays about art, music, as well as reading experiences. His novel »P/F«, about the old and the new Yerevan, the disappeared streetcar, and a man trying to find his way in the city of his fading memories was published in 2020. The experimental text maintains the style of fragmentary storytelling with modulations typical of the Kōans of Zen Buddhism. The parts of the book can be read in any order, while the main character appears in different situations, ending the narrative with a monologue about the river Getar as a symbol of life. Based on the still unpublished novel, the musical piece »Pachyan Fragments« by Aram Hovhannisyan was composed in 2015. The book was awarded the EU Prize for Literature 2021. Aram Pachyan thus became the first Armenian author to receive this honor.

In 2018, he participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and he was a fellow of the Villa Waldberta artists’ house in 2019. He has received the Armenian President’s Prize for Literature, among other awards. Pachyan works as a journalist at the newspaper »Hraparak«, writes for the radio, and had his own program in 2012 entitled »In the Library with Aram Pachyan«. In 2016 he participated in the Dutch documentary »Offline Is The New Luxury«.

Date: 2022