BLACK DOG OF FATE: A Memoir - An American Son Uncovers His Armenian Past
by Peter Balakian
At the center of Balakian's memoir are family members who were survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide -- this century's first genocide when more than 1,000,000 Armenians were exterminated and another 1,000,000 were deported from their ancient homeland in Anatolia by the Ottoman Turkish government.
After World War I, the Balakian family emigrated to America to flee the Turks and start a new life. Two generations later, Peter Balakian, the son of a physician in an affluent New Jersey suburb, was enjoying a privileged childhood. Yet even as a boy, he was aware that his family was different. Now, with an adult historical perspective and a poet's sensibility, he traces his awakening to the truth of the Armenian holocaust, which his family tried to repress. He explores the intense and often comic collision between his ancient Near Eastern culture and American pop culture. In doing so, he unlocks the floodgates of memory, pain, love and triumph.
Powerful and beautifully written, " Black Dog of Fate" is a universal story about survival against great odds, about the journey between tradition and assimilation and about moving forward from the haunted past to the promise of the future.
Basic Books/Harper Collins Publishers (Hardcover: 1997)
Basic Books/Perseus Books Group (Paperback: 2009)