The Lost I is Choghig Kazandjian’s first novel. It was initially published in 2004 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (under the author name of Choghig Hanssian), then in 2009. Most recently, the Kindle edition was released and is available for download on Amazon.
Choghig Kazandjian was featured on Canada’s CTV, in connection to the topics and themes which run through her debut novel:
The story is set during the Lebanese Civil War, and follows the everyday lives of two young newlyweds Nayla and Samer, in their struggle to survive and to live as normal a life as possible, given the circumstances. A life which involves gatherings with friends and neighbours, over lunch, dinner and coffee breaks. A life which involves difficulty, risk, and uncertainty, as their beloved city is ravaged in front of their eyes, and as scenes of fear and terror replace the happy, loving memories they formed growing up.
The book offers real insight into how people cope in such terrible conditions and what it must be like to have to endure them. It offers an unbiased account of how war sweeps through the lives of innocent people, immensely affecting them, no matter what their color, race, religion, or political influences are. It shows how war slowly but gradually dissolves the sense of belonging and identity of all those who come into contact with it.
This book is a great read for people of all ages. It’s interesting as a fictional story, or as a recollection of part of history. Due to the current state of affairs in the world, it is believed that a vast majority can identify with this book; particularly those who have fled a war zone. Human beings are the same anywhere in the world; the fear they experience when held (whether physically, mentally, or emotionally) at gunpoint is the same regardless of their nationality or religion. Unfortunately, war is a universal language arguably as powerful as love is claimed to be, and therefore, this book holds universal appeal.
If you have read The Lost I, or would like to read it, or are in the process of reading it, we would love to hear from you!
The following is a short excerpt from The Lost I:
There he was, in the middle of the road, a rifle in his left hand and a black dog leaping and barking next to him, on his right.
Samer rolled down his window and asked Nayla to do the same with hers.
A few seconds and the gunman was leaning through the car window, his kalashnikov almost touching Samer’s face, his black hound pounding and barking ferociously.
“Your identification,” he yelled. He had long black hair tied up in a ponytail. His face was not shaven. He was wearing baggy trousers in khaki and a khaki shirt. In his made- up uniform, he barely looked sixteen.
Samer took his passport from the inside pocket of his jacket and calmly handed it to the teenage gunman. The teenager held it open in his hand for a brief moment, looked at the picture and threw it back inside the car through the open window. Then trembling with rage he opened the car door and shouted. “Get out!”