STORIES MY FATHER NEVER FINISHED TELLING ME: Living with the Armenian Legacy of Loss and Silence
by Douglas Kalajian
Stories My Father Never Finished Telling Me recounts author Douglas Kalajian’s lifelong attempts to overcome his father’s reluctance to speak about his life as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. In piecing together, the scattered bits his father reluctantly shared, Kalajian reflects on how his father’s silence affected his own life and his identity as an American of Armenian descent. Kalajian is a retired journalist who worked as an editor and writer for the Palm Beach Post and the Miami Herald. He is author of the nonfiction book Snow Blind and co-author of They Had No Voice: My Fight for Alabama’s Forgotten Children.
As an eight-year-old in 1960, Douglas Kalajian watched his father break down in tears as a man on television spoke about the slaughter of Armenians in their native land nearly a half century before. His father rushed out of the room, and his mother stopped him from following. “Don’t ever ask him about what happened,” his mother said. “It’s too sad.” This is how he was handed the Armenian legacy of loss and silence that led to a life-long series of interrupted conversations between father and son. More than 20 years after his father death, the author continued to piece together the jagged bits his father shared in order to make sense not only of his father’s life but of his own identity as an Armenian born in America.
Douglas Kalajian (2014)