So, the first week of the three-week tour is behind me.
I have had the pleasure of meeting nearly 1,200 of you at eight events in three time zones.
And, yes, it has been a delight, even when:
• The fellow driving me to one particular airport remarked, “I’m a writer, too. An aspiring writer, that is. My problem? I can’t seem to figure out how to put words down on paper.”
• I had three flights cancel on me for one or reason or another at the illustrious Pellston airport, stranding me there. And so – after the airport itself had closed – I grabbed a sandwich at the airport restaurant. It was still open and hopping. Explained the waitress, “A lot of us locals eat here. There aren’t many restaurants in Pellston.” (Translation? There are none.)
* I savored a whopping eight hours of sleep over three nights.
Some new reviews came in this week. Among them are these:
“Stirring. . .A deeply moving story of survival and enduring love.” — Carol Memmott, USA Today
“Bohjalian deftly weaves the many threads of this story back and forth, from past to present, from abuse to humanity, from devastation to redemption. His ability to add irony and wit makes the contrasting horrors even more intense. . .Staggering. . .[and] utterly riveting.” — Eugenia Zukerman, The Washington Post
“Compelling. . .an eye-opening tale of longing and discovery. . .a bittersweet reflection on hope even in the darkest circumstances.” — Amy Driscoll, The Miami Herald
“Bohjalian succeeds in depicting the horror, without sentimentalizing it. . .He has fulfilled the duty of anyone seeking to document a genocide — he ensures that we don’t look away.” — Julie Wittes Schlack, The Boston Globe
“Bohjalian defly widens a telescopic lens to encompass the ‘Meds Yeghern,’ or ‘Great Calamity’ of the Armenian Genocide. . .Bohjalian’s writing style never rings a false note as it moves from present-day New York to the tragedy of World War I, his characters are as real as our own relatives. The well-researched history that forms the background informs, intrigues, and enchants — even as recollections of horror mount.” — Brandy Hilboldt-Allport, The Florida Times-Union
“Remarkably supple. . .Bohjalian keeps his eyes on the personal, the little moments that illuminate broader social movements. . .Moment by moment, and passage by passage, the novel lights up a disturbing period of history.” — Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch
Still 14 events left on the book tour over the next two weeks. I hope to meet many of you on the road!