2005 fiction finalist

Aris Janigian | Bloodvine

Photo of authorAbout the author
Aris Janigian, a second-generation Armenian American, was born in Fresno, California. He is a professor of humanities at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and he returns to the Fresno area annually to work as a grape packer and shipper.

About the book
Bloodvine is a riveting first work of fiction that resonates with family struggle, ethnic legacies, and a richly captured sense of place within California’s Central Valley. It is a complex and devastating story of two half-brothers who toil on and are torn apart by the farmland they have inherited. It is a compelling novel of intense relationships, of people unraveling as they struggle with the unpredictability of weather, soil, and fate. Recently optioned for movie rights, Bloodvine is not only Janigian’s first original novel, but Heyday’s as well. It is a declaration of what it means be a Californian, an experience long known as one of exploration, discovery, alienation, and acceptance. This book, part of Heyday’s Great Valley series, is a shining example of the rich artistic and cultural abundance that is found alongside the agricultural largesse of the Central Valley.

Critics / Reviews

"A touching and very real story..."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Janigian invites comparison to William Saroyan."  —San Francisco Chronicle

"Aris Janigian is a strong, welcome new voice."  —Los Angeles Times

"An absorbing debut novel…Janigian brings immediacy and naturalism to the story of the Armenians who immigrated to California."  —Washington Post

"Bloodvine is a novel as dark as Turkish coffee, pungent as soil turned for planting, and as mysterious as only a family story can be. Add Aris Janigian to the harvest of California writers nurtured by the harsh and bountiful Central Valley; he knows its sorrows and its sweetness."  —D. J. Waldie, author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir

"A riveting and beautiful novel—full of passionate human drama and the large elemental sense of the San Joaquin Valley."  —Peter Balakian, author of Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir