Indie writers tackle the Armenian Genocide

Several new books tug at a violent history

Trends come and go in Indieland, just as they do in traditional publishing. Some won’t die—vampires, for instance—but amid the hundreds of indie titles we review each month, a few recurring topics unexpectedly reveal themselves. One country and its people are doing just that: Armenia. Maybe that’s not so hard to believe. Armenia was, after all, the first Christian nation and a former member of the Soviet Union. Armenians experienced not armenia covera few genocides and massacres, and the country now borders Iran. A world map from 450 B.C.E. puts Armenia at its center. Lately, many indie books seem to have that map in mind.

As the Poppies Bloomed, a “luminous, doom-tinged tale” by Maral Boyadjian, “vivid ly conjures the specific sensory details of the Armenians’ lost world.”

Aida Zilelian’s debut novel, The Legacy of Lost Things, tells of an Armenian family struggling to adapt to the American way of life.

Stories My Father Never Finished Telling Me, an elegiac “ethno-memoir,” reveals author Douglas Kalajian’s difficult upbringing—particularly under Turkish oppression—and what our reviewer calls his status as “a bearer of a tortured Armenian past.” “I am not a historian, and this is not a book of facts and dates an d sober analysis,” Kalajian writes. “This is a story told by a man born in midair whose only hope for a good night’s sleep is to close his fingers around the frayed cord of history and tug with all his might.”

Indie authors have lately been tugging that cord mightily. 

Ryan Leahey is an Indie editor. 

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