Born in the village of Dsegh in Eastern Armenia, the poet Hovhannes T‘umanyan (1869–1923) was steeped in the rich oral traditions of Armenian village life. His poetry and literary works reflect the complex society and mores of the Armenian people. One of his most beloved poems, “Anush,” was written in 1890 but not published until 1892. The tragic story of the love between Anush, a young village girl, and, Saro, a shepherd boy, reflects T‘umanyan’s keen understanding of the intricate moral and ethical code of village life. The poem is considered to epitomize the national characteristics of Armenians. The opera it inspired, also called Anush, by Armen Tigranyan (1879‒1950), is likewise a famous nationalist work. Presented here is a richly illustrated edition of T‘umanyan’s “Anush” published in Soviet Armenia in 1952. The illustrations are by Grigor Khanjean (1926‒2000), a celebrated artist and illustrator.

Last updated: July 28, 2017