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Three Apples Fell from the Sky


Over 200,000 copies sold worldwide

Full English & French translations available

Marquez’ all times classic epic One Hundred Years of Solitude meets Sergei Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors in this memorable fable about a small decaying Armenian village lost on the Manish Kar mountain top.

The title of the novel – Three Apples Fell from the Sky – refers to a typical ending of Armenian fairy-tales: “three apples fell from the sky: an apple for the one who watched, another for the one who told the story, and the third one for the one who listened.” The novel, too, resembles a fable. Its heroes are several families living in a decaying mountain village. The village’s only connections with the lowland are an old wire telegraph and a hardly visible road that even cows thread with difficulty. Part weirdoes, part naggers, the village’s few remaining inhabitants – a dozen of elderly people – share one thing in common: they believe in magic.

Love and pain, vengeance and forgiveness, friendship and feud tensely knot the lives of the villagers together through generations. There’s Anatolia, the last from the village’s oldest family, having survived after a great famine. A rare beauty and a book lover, Anatolia would suffer from the ravage attacks of her husband, who fled the village after he nearly beat his wife to death. There’s a blacksmith Vasily, a widower, who had lost his three sons and the younger brother in the WWII. The same younger brother, who had saved the village from the imminent destruction in the landslide, thanks to a unique foreseeing girl. There’s a healer Yasaman, Anatolia’s friend and neighbor, who treats all villagers with self-prepared herb mixtures. There’s even a white peacock whose miraculous appearance in the village in the time of the big famine will only be explained at the novel’s end.

Readers follow the mundane routine of the old people’s lives – them making baklava, baking cakes, gathering crops, doing house chores – and get familiar with their life stories weaving into a slow-paced yet fascinating fable of a village that faces an imminent ending. When one true miracle changes everything – a 58-year-old Anatolia knows that she bears a child...

Narine Abgaryan brilliantly captures the local life’s oddness, its striking beauty and an underlying melancholy. With a sumptuous visual imagery, a close eye for the petty local details, Abgaryan pictures the world where a reader wishes to linger long after the story ends.

A magical realist story of friendship and feuds.

– The Guardian

Abgaryan impresses with finely phrased descriptions of daily activities and homes with “chimneys that clung to the hem of the sky,” and indelible details of complex, humble characters. This magical tale transcends familiar mystical tropes with its fresh reimagining of Armenian folklore.

— Publishers Weekly

A charming novel... [It] teems with minor characters whose quirks are at times amusing and at times heartbreaking... A warm-hearted story about family, friendship, and community.

— Foreword Reviews

Abgaryan’s folktale [is] so improbably of the moment... [her] leisurely, painstaking prose – in Hayden’s lyrical translation – is an added gift for readers at the moment, because it prompts us to adjust to the “measured pace of existence” that is now also our own.

— Asymptote Journal

A superb novel... I urge you to read it.

— Ma Lecturothèque (France)

Abgaryan’s work conveys a deep belief in the resilience of humanity without glossing over the horrors of human conflict.

A poignant, bittersweet, fable-like story... The strongest message that shines through this finely translated novel is that resignation need not lead to cynicism.

— Asian Review of Books

I loved this! A tender and quirky tale of stoicism, resilience and love... The ultimate feel-good story of an unlikely romance and the warmth of a community, drawn with humour, empathy and an earthy, magical charm.

— Mary Chamberlain, author of The Hidden

At the charming heart of Three Apples Fell from the Sky, pulses the certain knowledge that “it takes a village” – a village to bleed, to weep, and, finally, to laugh and celebrate as one.

— Faith Sullivan, author of The Cape Ann and Goodnight, Mr. Wodehouse

Abgaryan’s descriptions are beautifully written... I couldn’t put this book down.

— Un Univers de Livres blog (France)

A quiet song of a novel. A novel that opens and lingers... that sweeps over you like a wave on a beach.

— The Book Trail

A perfect book for anyone who wants to learn more about Armenia: its customs, its beliefs, traditions and history... A heartfelt, delicate novel.

— La Couleur des Mots blog (France)

A novel about ordinary life, written with extraordinary sensitivity and tenderness.

— Prestaplume (France)

A magical novel. It manages to be life-affirming without descending into cheap sentimentality... Abgaryan achieves this challenging balance in part through the beauty of the novel’s prose, which mimics the oral storytelling of myths and legends.

— End of the Word blogspot

To render the richness of Maran’s culture, translator Lisa C. Hayden confidently navigates the linguistic complexities of this book... Her translation is visual and sensory... Dramatic and humorous.

— The Common

Abgaryan’s affectionate portrayal of rural rhythms and unlikely romance is an absolute joy.

— New European – 30 Great European Books for the Beach

Book details


Novel, 2016

315 pp

Rights sold

  • World English Oneworld Publications

  • French Macha Publishing

  • German Ullstein List

  • Italian Brioschi

  • Estonian Tänapäev

  • Bulgarian Labirint

  • Arabic AS Publishers

  • Armenian Newmag Publishing

  • Hungarian Typotex

  • Latvian Janis Roze

  • Malayalam (India) Green Books

  • Czech Prostor

  • Lithuanian Balto

  • Romanian Humanitas

  • Slovakian Artforum

  • Serbian Vulkan

  • Catalan Comanegra

  • Macedonian Muza

  • Simplified Chinese Rentian Ulus Cultural Media

  • Korean Eulyoo Publishing

  • Spanish Editorial Navona

  • Polish Krzysztof Głowinkowski/Glowbooks

  • Swedish Tranan

  • Croatian Hena

  • Turkish Hippo /Aras Ya

  • Portuguese Presenca

  • Sinhala (China) Subhavi

  • Thai Library House

Theater rights sold

Literary awards

  • Shortlisted for the Big Book Award 2021

  • Yasnaya Polyana Prize 2016

  • Nominated for the National Bestseller Prize 2016

  • The Alexander Green Award 2015

  • The New Literature Award 2013 (The Best Book for Children)

  • The Russian Literature Prize 2011

  • Longlisted for the Big Book Award 2011

  • Manuscript of the Year 2010

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