Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
MAGICAL PINE RING: Culture and Imagination in Armenian-American Literature
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MAGICAL PINE RING: Culture and Imagination in Armenian-American Literature

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by Margaret Bedrosian

Margaret Bedrosian's pioneering interdisciplinary study examines the continuing effect of Armenian history on Armenian-American writing. Using the work of ten Armenian-American poets and fiction and non-fiction writers, she shows the continuing impact on Armenian Americans of cultural symbols, myths, and attitudes carried over from the Old World, and explores the ways in which two cultures meet, conflict, and become integrated in the imagination.

Through analysis of writers' actual or fictionalized experience, The Magical Pine Ring provides an understanding of the Armenians' specific concerns as Armenians and as immigrants, the effect of their self-awareness as Armenians on their adaptation to America, the typical and stereotypical situations and personalities that emerged with time, and the key values and beliefs that endured even as names were changed and
assimilation blurred physical and social demeanor. Bedrosian also explores the directions Armenian-American writers have taken in portraying group history and the nature of their self-discovery as Armenian Americans.

For the most part, this literature is not a direct outgrowth of the mainstream of Armenian literature. The relationship of the writer discussed here is one of spirit, of ancestral sympathies, burdens, and responsibilities. These writers register the pain of exile and alienation as they weave images of yearning and loss, celebration and futuristic vision into their writing. Through their crossroads identity in America, these writers add to our understanding of the Armenian diaspora.

Wayne State University Press 1991