Khachik Dashtents (Tonoyan Khachik Tonoevitch) – a famous
Armenian writer, poet, and translator – was born into a shepherd’s
family on April 15, 1909 in the village of Dashtayan of Sasun vilayet
in Western Armenia. Later he chose his literary pseudonym according
to his village’s name – Dashtents.
Dashtents witnessed a lot of suffering through the hard roads that
led him from the Sasun Mountains to Eastern Armenia, and he finally
took refuge in the orphanage of the American Mission of Alexandropol
(later Leninakan, currently Gyumri), where he received his early
In 1932 Dashtents graduated from the Yerevan State University,
and in 1940 – from the English Language department of the
Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages.
Since his first steps in literature Dashtents has been one of Armenia’s
favorite authors. From an early age Dashtents absorbed the fables,
every day life, traditions – all the ethos of the Armenian
nation – and it became a base for creation of the epic prose
to which he dedicated his life.
In his novels “Khodedan” (1950) and "Call
of Plowmen" Dashtents pictured the tragedy of western Armenians
during the years of World War I (1914-1918), who suffered from the
genocide of Armenians in Turkey. He also wrote the historical drama
“Tigran the Great” in 1947.Dashtents is also the author
of poetry anthologies “The Book of Songs” (1932), “Spring
Songs” (1934), “Flame” (1936), “Highland
Flowers” (1963), where he describes the everyday life of his
motherland – Armenia. Dashtents is also famous for his translations
of Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies, and “The Song
of Hiawatha” – H.W. Longfellow’s poem.