The Crimson Field
Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 04:21 PM CT
A tour-de-force, Rosie Malek-Yonan's "The Crimson Field" is a brilliant and gritty historical and literary novel with enormous implications. Uncompromising and un-flinching, it is based on real events and true family chronicles set to the backdrop of the Assyrian Massacres of 1914-1918 in Urmi, Iran. This is a unique triumph in that the Assyrian tragedy unfolds in an epic novel, the first of its kind, supported by actual painstakingly researched historical facts of a nation's raw and agonizing past; a nation that has never been fully healed of its bleeding wounds and still grieves for its fallen martyrs. Malek-Yonan's intense interest in her family s history that cannot be separated from her Assyrian heritage and historical events that have swept that nation in a deluge of bloodbath, began more than two decades ago. As she embarked on her journey of discovery, searching family documents and probing for her roots, she found a commonality with her Assyrian people who experienced the same trenchant attacks as her family at the hands of the Turks and Kurds nearly a century ago. "The Crimson Field" is a harsh, yet poetic, narrative of the author's maternal grand-mother, Maghdleta's lifelong struggle to come to terms with a momentary decision made in haste during the brutality of the Assyrian Massacres and Genocide. "The Crimson Field" is a reconstruction of history, brick by brick, reassembling the un-imaginable losses suffered by an Assyrian woman and those of her nation. Rosie Malek-Yonan's high-spirited approach affords the reader a rare glimpse into the lives of a nation bereaved and long imagined to be forgotten. This epic novel is a tender reminder of the resilience of a people in their quest for survival. "The Crimson Field" is the author's Requiem Mass for her Assyria.
Rosie Malek-Yonan (in Aramaic: ܪܘܙܝ ܡܠܟ ܝܘܢܢ) is an Assyrian actress, artist, director, author and human rights activist.
Born on July 4th, 1965 in Tehran, Iran, to George Malek-Yonan and Lida Malek-Yonan, Rosie is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian families, tracing her Assyrian roots back nearly eleven centuries. The Malek family or tribe came from the Assyrian village of Geogtapah, Urmia (Urmi), a region in northwestern Iran. Geogtapa was the largest Assyrian Christian village in the region and much of it belonged to the Malek-Yonan family with the oldest plot in the family graveyard dating back to 1,100 CE.
During the Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918, Rosie's grandparents left their ancestral homeland in Urmia, Iran, during the Great Exodus from Urmi. The Malek-Yonan family fled to Mesopotamia where her father was born in Baghdad, while Rosie's maternal grandmother fled to Russia where her mother was born in Rostov. Years later, both families returned to Tehran where her parents met and were married. Rosie has a younger sister, Monica, who works very closely with her on most of her projects. Rosie's great-great-uncle, Dr. Jesse Malek-Yonan represented the Assyrians of Urmi during the Paris Peace Talks in 1919 after World War I. [more...]