Orphaned by the Armenian Genocide in 1915, Mannig and her sister Adrine struggle to stay alive in what is now eastern Iraq. Mannig lives on the streets and trades camel dung for bread; her sister works as a servant for an Arab family. With the help of Barone Madiros, a wealthy philanthropist, Mannig and Adrine eventually find their way to an orphanage for surviving Armenian children. In this refuge, after years of hardship, the two sisters find compassion, joy, safety ... and love. Told by Mannig's daughter, Between the Two Rivers is a candid and moving account of a mother's triumph over adversity. This revised 2nd edition includes a map and photographs.
Between the Two Rivers was a true Cinderella of Mesopotamia story. Young Mannig rose from starving Armenian orphan to the teenage bride of a wealthy philanthropist. Beyond the Two Rivers begins in Baghdad amid the political turmoil of 1958 and then flashes back to where the first book left off in 1922, when Mannig travels to the desert castle of her in-laws. As a young mother, Mannig moves from one isolated farming village outpost to another while her engineer husband makes the desert bloom. Mannig, Mardiros, and their three children eventually settle in Baghdad, where the tumult of World War II has soured relations between the various tribes who have shared these lands peacefully for centuries. Whether hobnobbing with royalty or escaping from angry Bedouin, Mannig retains her resilience and joie de vivre. This is an Iraq that no longer exists, except in our memories and imaginations.
The Hundred-Year Walk
Author: Dawn Anahid MacKeen
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize A New York Post Must-Read “Part family heirloom, part history lesson, The Hundred-Year Walk is an emotionally poignant work, powerfully imagined and expertly crafted.”—Aline Ohanesian, author of Orhan’s Inheritance “This book reminds us that the way we treat strangers can ripple out in ways we will never know . . . MacKeen’s excavation of the past reveals both uncomfortable and uplifting lessons about our present.”—Ari Shapiro, NPR Growing up, Dawn MacKeen heard from her mother how her grandfather Stepan miraculously escaped from the Turks during the Armenian genocide of 1915, when more than one million people—half the Armenian population—were killed. In The Hundred-Year Walk MacKeen alternates between Stepan’s courageous account, drawn from his long-lost journals, and her own story as she attempts to retrace his steps, setting out alone to Turkey and Syria, shadowing her resourceful, resilient grandfather across a landscape still rife with tension. Dawn uses his journals to guide her to the places he was imperiled and imprisoned and the desert he crossed with only half a bottle of water. Their shared story is a testament to family, to home, and to the power of the human spirit to transcend the barriers of religion, ethnicity, and even time itself. “I am in awe of what Dawn MacKeen has done here . . . Her sentences sing. Her research shines. Her readers will be rapt—and a lot smarter by the end.”—Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion “Harrowing.”—Us Weekly
The Gathering Place
Author: E.G. Sergoyan
Publisher: Epicenter Press
Armenians who fled their homeland and migrated to Shanghai In the turbulent and horrific early twentieth century share nearly forgotten stories. In times of calamity or economic distress, only a small percentage (roughly two percent) of Armenian people are willing to leave their families, homes, and country to find a new life in exotic or foreign lands. Known as “two-percenters,” these are the refugees who made the arduous trek across Asia to gather in the exotic city of Old Shanghai, where they joined a social club in the city’s Old International Settlement. Its purpose was first to help refugees get settled, but it became a beloved place of community gathering. The Gathering Place centers on the stories of George and Nadine, two Armenian refugees who married and, after leaving China, made their way to the United States. Placed within the historical context of genocide, revolution, banditry, occupation, and two World Wars, their memories reflect the trauma of the first half of the twentieth century—a time referred to by some as the Modern Dark Age. Their stories of time and again building a new life in a foreign land offer a fresh take on the immigrant experience during a time of momentous change in Asia.
A gripping eye witness account of the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government against its Armenian subjects during World War 1. Smpat Chorbadjian tells his story of the appalling hardships he suffered. It reveals his courage, endurance and will to survive, also recording his healing and restoration, after years of misery. This book makes a compelling narrative as it sheds light on the frequently forgotten experience of Turkey’s Christians, against a background of global conflict.
A Shameful Act
Author: Taner Akcam
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
A landmark assessment of Turkish culpability in the Armenian genocide, the first history of its kind by a Turkish historian In 1915, under the cover of a world war, some one million Armenians were killed through starvation, forced marches, forced exile, and mass acts of slaughter. Although Armenians and world opinion have held the Ottoman powers responsible, Turkey has consistently rejected any claim of intentional genocide. Now, in a pioneering work of excavation, Turkish historian Taner Akçam has made extensive and unprecedented use of Ottoman and other sources to produce a scrupulous charge sheet against the Turkish authorities. The first scholar of any nationality to have mined the significant evidence—in Turkish military and court records, parliamentary minutes, letters, and eyewitness accounts—Akçam follows the chain of events leading up to the killing and then reconstructs its systematic orchestration by coordinated departments of the Ottoman state, the ruling political parties, and the military. He also probes the crucial question of how Turkey succeeded in evading responsibility, pointing to competing international interests in the region, the priorities of Turkish nationalists, and the international community's inadequate attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice. As Turkey lobbies to enter the European Union, Akçam's work becomes ever more important and relevant. Beyond its timeliness, A Shameful Act is sure to take its lasting place as a classic and necessary work on the subject.
A character-driven study of some of the darkest moments in our national history, when America failed to prevent or stop 20th-century campaigns to exterminate Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Iraqi Kurds, Bosnians, and Rwandans.
Like Water on Stone
Author: Dana Walrath
Shahen, a youth who dreams of moving to New York, his twin Sosi, who never wants to leave her home, and their little sister, Miriam, flee the horrifying Armenian genocide of 1915 and struggle for survival in the aftermath of their parents' deaths. Simultaneous eBook.
Author: Donald E. Miller, Lorna Touryan Miller
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"A superb work of scholarship and a deeply moving human document. . . . A unique work, one that will serve truth, understanding, and decency."—Roger W. Smith, College of William and Mary
Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by 90 percent—more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian interpretations of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915–16 were committed. Drawing on archival documents and eyewitness accounts, this is an unforgettable chronicle of a cataclysm that set a tragic pattern for a century of genocide and crimes against humanity.
King Leopold's Ghost
Author: Adam Hochschild
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million—all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo—too long forgotten—onto the conscience of the West.
Dance of the Banished
Author: Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
Publisher: Pajama Press Inc.
Ali, an Alevi Kurd who has immigrated to Canada, is sent to an internment camp in northern Ontario as an enemy alien during World War I, while his fiancâee, Zeynep, back in Anatolia, tries to protect her Armenian neighbors from massacre.
The Road from Home
Author: David Kherdian
Publisher: Harper Collins
David Kherdian re-creates his mother's voice in telling the true story of a childhood interrupted by one of the most devastating holocausts of our century. Vernon Dumehjian Kherdian was born into a loving and prosperous family. Then, in the year 1915, the Turkish government began the systematic destruction of its Armenian population.
The Knock at the Door
Author: Margaret Ajemian Ahnert
Publisher: Beaufort Books
In 1915, Armenian Christians in Turkey were forced to convert to Islam, barred from speaking their language, and often driven out of their homes as the Turkish army embarked on a widespread campaign of intimidation and murder. In this riveting book, Margaret Ajemian Ahnert relates her mother Ester's terrifying experiences as a young woman during this period of hatred and brutality. At age 15, Ester was separated from her family during a forced march away from her birth town of Amasia. Though she faced unspeakable horrors at the hands of many she met, and was forced into an abusive marriage against her will, she never lost her faith, quick wit, or ability to see the good in people. Eventually she escaped and emigrated to America. Ahnert's compelling account of her mother's suffering is framed by an intimate portrait of her relationship with her 98-year-old mother. Ester's inspiring stories, told lovingly by her daughter, will give you a window into the harrowing struggle of Armenians during a terrible period in human history.
Avoiding the sterile was-it-genocide-or-not debate, this book will open a new chapter in this contentious controversy and may help achieve a long-overdue reconciliation of Armenians and Turks."