Longreads

Diana Arterian published a sad, lyrical essay at the Los Angeles Review of Books on the legacy of the Armenian Genocide on descendants and diaspora members, skillfully weaving together family memories and verse by Armenian diasporic poets. At its center is a family story that everyone has heard — but that no one knows the truth of.

There is a story. A shepherd boy, 13 or so, has a dozen brothers. His family lives in a small village near a large mountain. One day the boy is gone — with his flock, or to complete a chore, or perhaps even to find a safer place for the family to stay. He returns and finds everyone in the village dead. His brothers are all decapitated, and his father, too. His mother raped by attackers and dead by suicide. Over many years, he makes his way, somehow, halfway across the earth…

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