The Lost DNA Book Presentation
On December 20, 2018, Russian-Armenian University hosted the presentation of The Lost DNA, a book offering a blend of genres - conspiracy fiction and detective, authored by RAU Ph.D. student Levon Rukhkyan.
The plot unveils in the near future and takes the reader to the cities of Etchmiadzin, Yerevan, Vatican, Rome and Venice. It all starts in Etchmiadzin, where a body of a dead priest is found in the underground treasury, while one of the most important Christian relics, Geghard (The Holy Spear), goes missing.
“I’ve been curious about historical mysteries and conspiracy theories since my childhood. History contains a lot of episodes that are unknown to the public, but when discovered they become part of the heritage. This genre being postmodern, allows me to mix true historical events with fiction and create a new, compelling world for the reader”, highlighted Levon.
He started writing the book back in 2015, and the process went on for three years, “I had to do a lot of research for the book, including digging up historical archives at the library of Matenadaran, Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, visiting ancient Armenian landmarks to set the plot... The rest was left to imagination and fantasy, which is acceptable in this genre”.
Levon Rukhkyan mentioned the enormous popularity of the genre - books by Dan Brown, Matthew Pearl, Robert Anton Wilson, Wolfram Fleischhauer, Jörg Kastner and others are sold in millions of copies all over the world, “Dan Brown’s books have become best sellers here in Armenia, so I think Armenian readers are definitely interested in this genre. Besides, conspiracy detective fiction is underrepresented in the Armenian literature market, so I decided to go for it”.
What comes to juggling Ph.D. studies, work and writing, Levon confided that he had no difficulty combining various activities, as they keep you from being stuck in a routine and even complement each other.
“At present I pursue my Ph.D. in Political Science at Russian-Armenian University. I got my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at RAU, as well. It truly is an alma mater. There, besides learning, we develop morally and gain experience. The university did have a big impact on me as a writer - while working on The Lost DNA, I realized that scientific thinking is a great asset when writing fiction”, he added.
Next year, Levon Rukhkyan plans to complete his Ph.D. thesis and to start writing the sequel of The Lost DNA - Byron's Lost Diary.