Sunday, 24 February 2013

NIV, the novel: Tel Aviv, Karabakh, four lovers, two centuries

Time for a confession. One of my New Year resolutions was to devote enough time to reading books. Unfortunately, due to work, travel and current events, I keep failing on this. True, people say we make New Year resolutions to fail them, but I really-really want to see this one fulfilled. There are so many intriguing books both on my book shelves and my ipad waiting to be read...

Anyway, here is the first book I will be reading, as soon as I find time, that is. This is a debut novel "NIV" by Israeli author Itamar S.N., published towards the end of 2012, and as far as I am told, touches the gay-themed topics with that of the Armenian Genocide, Karabakh, cross-border love and so on.

Consider this post as a kind of ‘info post’. As soon as I read the book (courtesy of the author), will post my reflections too. In the meantime, if you read the book first, please do share your reflections with me.

The novel comprised of two storylines: one contemporary gay Tel Aviv and the other one in around the time of WWI in Karabakh (1914).

As the author told me: “...while the book deals with issues which appear contemporary, it actually explores the timelessness of the human struggle to forge relationships. Two stories unfold in two different times and at two different locations, finally merging as one, with a touch of the supernatural.

One is the story of a young gay artist in today’s Tel Aviv, who falls in love with the agent in he backdrop of a modern society that still sits in judgment and makes it difficult for them to openly express their affections.

The other story takes place in Karabakh on the brink of WWI where a Muslim young man and a Christian young woman try to honor their commitment to each other in the midst of surrounding bloody events that demonize each in the eyes of the other’s family and community.

These four characters are actually two souls in different incarnations, which in a bright moment meet and recognize their parallel struggles. Their meeting results in the closing of their karmic circle, allowing the present day characters to evolve.”

And here is a description by publishers: “Niv, Erez, Katya and Anush are four young lovers who each experience a sexual awakening that threatens the rigid religious values and social attitudes that surround them. These pressures, the concerns of their families and the course of history itself, mean each must fight for the freedom to find their own way in life and the right to love the one they choose.

In this his first novel, Itamar S.N weaves together parallel stories to reveal tragic secrets and hidden truths. From the rural borderlands of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the time of the First World War, to the buzzing, cosmopolitan art scene of 21st century Tel Aviv, NIV is a story that will intrigue, surprise and inspire.”

I am certainly intrigued with the descriptions and with the Table of Content (!):

  • Tel Aviv August 2011 
  • Karabakh September 1914 
  • Tel Aviv September 2011 
  • Karabakh December 1914 
  • Tel Aviv September 2011 
  • Tel Aviv / Baku December 2011 

*The novel is available in Amazon in paper as well as kindle and bookshops (mostly gay) in Europe and the US.

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