Misak: An Armenian Life

Misak: An Armenian Life

translated from Danish, annotated and introduced by Jonas Kauffeldt
London: Gomidas Institute, 2015,
lxxviii + 159 pages,
map and photos
ISBN 978-1-909382-18-3, paperback,
Price: UK£17.00 / US$24.00
To order please contact

Misak: An Armenian Life is Karen Jeppe’s touching and heartfelt account of her adopted son’s experiences from childhood to early adulthood.  Set in the city of Urfa and the surrounding areas of the eastern Ottoman Empire, the narrative is both biography and autobiography, with Jeppe weaving her own story into the account.  The joint tale, spanning from the 1890s to the years immediately before the outbreak of the First World War, is dramatized for effect and intended to solicit empathy and material support from its readers.  In fact, the original audience for this account was the readership of the Danish journal Armeniervennen, the main publication of the Danish aid organization for which Jeppe was a representative in Urfa and later also in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
But now this story is also available in English, having been resurrected, so to speak, from the pages of the aforementioned and long-since defunct periodical.  A new and broader set of readers can therefore experience Jeppe’s gripping narrative and appreciate her perspective on Armenian life in the late Ottoman Empire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jonas Kauffeldt is Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Georgia.

Preface (vii)
Introduction (ix)
The Author: Karen Jeppe (ix)
The Urfa Years     (xii)
Witnessing the Unimaginable (xix)
A Working Recovery (xxiv)
A Home for a People (xxvi)
Agents of Hope (xli)
New Lands for an Ancient People (l)
The Work in Aleppo (lxiv)
An Organization Fades (lxvi)
A Woman and Her People (lxix)
The Story - Misak: An Armenian Life (lxxi)
Selected Bibliography (lxxix)

Introduction (3)
I. A Friend in Need (17)
II. Black Clouds (37)
III. The Tempest Breaks (67)
IV. Atop the Ruins (79
V. Fresh Seedlings (85)
VI. The Second Temple (101)
VII. Lonely (107)
VIII. An Unexpected Joy (114)
IX. Springtime in the Air (127)
X. The Final Feast (143)

Map (vi)
Karen Jeppe (viii
Karen Jeppe, Misak, Hadjim Pasha (Syria, cir. 1925)(lxxv)
Group photo with Karen Jeppe and Misak (Aleppo. cir. 1926)(lxxvi)
Karen Jeppe’s grave Aleppo (lxxvii)

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