WATERTOWN, Mass.—On Thurs., April 7, the Armenian Museum of America will host a book reading by Heather Martin, the great-granddaughter of Melkon Jenanyan and author of the recently published novel Reclaiming Konia: A Tale of Love, Loss and the Armenian Genocide based on his life story.
Jenanyan was an Armenian preacher who escaped the Ottoman Empire before 1915 with his wife and children. As we approach the 101st anniversary since the Armenian Genocide, which are still denied by Turkey, the novel becomes even more timely. “But the book is about more than justice and the political acknowledgement of the genocide by Turkey that is so needed,” says Martin. “Growing up, my father was really, really clear: Melkon, his grandfather, wanted nothing to do with the old country or ways. He refused to teach his children either Armenian or Turkish even though he personally wrote his sermons in both languages. Melkon never spoke of any violence he experienced, violence which caused them to leave before the 1915 genocide killed 1.5 million Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. It wasn’t until I was inspired to write his story that I felt an enormous connection to my ancestry and an overwhelming need to fight for justice, a fight he had avoided when he was alive.”
Martin is painfully aware that if Jenanyan had not escaped with his wife and children, she would not be here today to share his story as a survivor. “Ultimately this novel was about more than just the political component. I had the chance to help my ancestors heal from a trauma that occurred over 100 years ago through my writing. In the process I have rekindled the family legacy and joyful memories of those who have passed on.”
“We are so pleased to offer free programs so that we can continue our mission of educating the surrounding communities about past and present Armenian culture,” said Anna Kaczmarek, the program coordinator for the Armenian Museum of America.
Heather Ruth Martin is the CEO of Heather Martin, Inc., a business consulting firm. She is also a writer for the Huffington Post.
The Armenian Museum of America, located at 65 Main St. in Watertown, will host the author for a book reading, Q&A, and reception on Thurs., April 7, at 7:30 p.m. The program will be held on the 3rd floor in the Adele & Haig Der Manuelian Galleries.
For more information, visit http://www.armenianmuseum.org/calendar/event/?event_id1=21 or contact Kaczmarek by e-mailing email@example.com or calling (617) 926-2562.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West