The Gimmicks – a novel about Armenian Genocide – has made it to The New York Times Editor’s Choice.
The Gimmicks by Chris McCormick begins in the early 1970s, nearly 60 years after the Armenian genocide conducted by the Ottoman Empire.
The story follows two cousins in Soviet Armenia who consider themselves brothers: Ruben Petrosian, a promising backgammon player obsessed with politics, and Avo Gregoryan, a large, sweet teenager who eventually becomes a professional wrestler in the United States.
Ruben convinces Avo, then 19, to move to Los Angeles and join members of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (Asala), a group intent on securing “global acknowledgment, apologies and reparations” for the genocide.
The operatives in California make plans for the assassination of a genocide-denying professor. But Avo’s heart is not in it.
Instead, Avo is recruited to become a wrestler (named The Brow Beater, for his prominent unibrow) by Terry “Angel Hair” Krill, a washed-up manager who narrates sections of the novel set in the late 1980s.
Chris McCormick ‘s mother and his extended family immigrated from Armenia, and he grew up learning about Armenian history.