Category Archives: Untold Stories

My Proud Pilgrimage to My Homeland — and Our Line in the Sand

The forward trenches in the hills just beyond the abandoned village of Talish, in Nagorno-Karabakh, are reminiscent of World War I: long, endless, slits in the ground, the dirt buttressed by wood, with periodic firing posts and dugouts. Stacked tires packed with dirt stand in for sandbags, but otherwise it looks like the Western Front […]

The novel, “Midwives,” 20 years later: What was the early reaction to the novel like? Has it changed over time?

It was twenty years ago that “Midwives” was published: 1997. Seinfeld was still on the air. The Spice Girls had two of the year’s biggest hits. The Dow Jones closed for the first time at. . .7,000. Throughout this month I will be answering questions from the Reading Group Center to celebrate the new, twentieth […]

The novel, “Midwives,” 20 years later: Is there anything I would update or change?

It was twenty years ago that “Midwives” was published: 1997. I had hair then. Our phones were considerably less smart. Our books were made of paper. Throughout this month I will be answering questions from the Reading Group Center to celebrate the new, twentieth anniversary edition of the novel. Here is their first one. As […]

Naming the Armenian Genocide for what it is

ADOLF HITLER KEPT a bust of Ataturk in his office. Heinrich Himmler considered moving to Turkey in the early 1920s. And Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, admitted in his memoirs (penned while awaiting his execution) that he first killed while serving in the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. Make no mistake: The Young […]

An interview in which I reveal my favorite children’s book, what I did before I became a novelist, and my response to one very garish dust jacket

Over the holidays, I was interviewed about my work and “The Sleepwalker” by Laura Hamlett of Playback St. Louis. I thought her questions were really interesting. Here is the complete interview. Happy reading! * * *   LAURA HAMLETT: When I read The Guest Room last fall, I found a new writer to love. I […]

My Proud Pilgrimage to My Homeland — and Our Line in the Sand

The forward trenches in the hills just beyond the abandoned village of Talish, in Nagorno-Karabakh, are reminiscent of World War I: long, endless, slits in the ground, the dirt buttressed by wood, with periodic firing posts and dugouts. Stacked tires packed with dirt stand in for sandbags, but otherwise it looks like the Western Front […]

REPOST: They don’t make toys like they used to — thank heavens

The bug wasn’t Gregor Samsor-big. We’re not talking Kafkaesque. But in my memory it was the size of a cat. It was vaguely wasp-like – black and yellow – with both a stinger at the rear and an earwig’s pincers emanating from the sides of its jaw. If you packed its bulbous abdomen with D […]

Putting a Face on the Refugee Crisis

For most of America, the heartbreaking faces of Syrian refugees this year have belonged to children. We have seen them drowned and we have seen them stunned into silence by warfare and covered in blood. (We’ve also seen them likened to Skittles, but that appalling analogy belongs only to the Trumps.) At the moment, however, […]

1968: The Year Christmas Eve Meant the Moon

Fifty-two years ago, on December 24th, the three astronauts from the Apollo 8 mission to the moon were approaching the lunar sunrise. Yes, it was Christmas Eve. In the United States, it was nighttime. It was 1968. Cue the space music. My family and I were living in a Connecticut suburb of New York City, […]

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