GARDENS OF SILIHDAR: A Memoir
by Zabel Yessayan / Translated by Jennifer Manoukian / Edited by Joy Renjilian-Burgy and Judith Saryan
Throughout her life, Zabel Yessayan championed social justice and women's rights. Even as a young woman, she fought against the injustices she saw at school, refused to accept the restrictions placed on girls in her community, and demonstrated a fierce determination to succeed in the literary world at a time when few women were allowed entry. Yessayan authored several novels, short stories, newspaper articles an eyewitness account of the aftermath of the 1909 massacres of the Armenians. Her 1935 memoir, The Gardens of Silihdar, is a poignant narrative of her childhood and a vivid account of Armenian community life in Constantinople at the end of the nineteenth century. Author, educator, and social activist, Zabel Yessayan (1878-1943) is recognized today as one of the greatest writers in Western Armenian literature.