Thu07Apr20167:30 pmAdele & Haig Der Manuelian Galleries
Book Event: Reclaiming Konia
The Museum is please to host an event with Heather Martin, the author of the newly published Reclaiming Konia: A Tale of Love, Loss and the Armenian Genocide. Heather will be coming to the Armenian Museum at 7:30 PM on April 7, 2016 for a book signing and reception. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event and the author will also be reading selections from the book. Light refreshments will be served at the reception and this event is free and open to the public.
On the threshold of the 20th Century, Melkon Jenanyan sits alone in a room in the heart of Philadelphia. An intense and stubborn Christian Minister, and the one who must secure their family legacy, he has to make a decision. Will he further complicate his strained marriage by returning to the heart of the Ottoman Empire -- as a targeted Christian minority in a Muslim land? The crux of his life's meaning hangs in the balance as he struggles to choose between family or his life's work, peace or a potential war zone. Will he find salvation as a martyr to save his people, or will he choose to save himself?
Martin has written this piece of historical fiction based on the real life of her own great-grandfather, Melkon Jenanyan, 60 years after his death. "My father was really, really clear - Melkon, his grandfather-wanted nothing to do with the old country," says Martin. "Melkon's children were not taught Armenian or Turkish, even though he wrote his sermons in both languages. He 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 sotry that he began to vocalize many pent up regrets and pain. I'm not a psychic-but every writer is inspired by some unknown force, I just happened to know who it was that was influencing my creative process."
An entire generation of Armenians was hesitant to discuss their past experience with the massacres from 1894-1915 because of the pain it caused them. It is Martin's hope that as more people read Reclaiming Konia and other works about the genocide, that the Armenian generation will begin to heal their trauma surrounding it. She also hopes that it will bring more awareness to non-Armenians about the political challenges surrounding the Genocide. "Ultimately this novel was about more than just the political component," says Martin. "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."
Along with being a writer, Heather Ruth Martin has been consulting to business owners, executives, sole proprietors and entrepreneurial salespeople for over a decade. Her consulting firm, Heather Martin, Inc. helps small and midsized companies with their strategy and sales and also provides career consulting and resume writing services to individuals.