UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.—Hundreds of Armenian Americans from the LA area welcomed New York Times Best-Selling author Chris Bohjalian as he joined with the ANC Grassroots Film and the Arts Committee, The Genocide Education Project and Doubleday Books in launching the national tour for his latest novel “The Sandcastle Girls.”
“We have seen incredible enthusiasm here in the LA area and in communities across the country in anticipation of the July 17th publication of Bohjalian’s epic on the Armenian Genocide,” ANCA Western Region co-Chairperson Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “Chris’ presentation today, like his book, was engaging and inspiring – guaranteed to serve as a starting point for discussions about the Armenian Genocide and genocide prevention the world over.”
Community members purchased hundreds of copies of the book and stood in line to meet the author and have them signed prior to the official book presentation. ANCA Western Region Chairwoman Nora Hovsepian, Esq. welcomed attendees and cited the important role that works like “The Sandcastle Girls” play in educating mainstream America about the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of Genocide denial. Those remarks were echoed by Adrin Nazarian and LA City Controller Wendy Greuel, upon presentation of a proclamation by LA Councilman Paul Krekorian welcoming Bohjalian and the publication of his masterpiece.
ANC Grassroots Film and the Arts Committee Chairwoman Nora Yacoubian was eloquent in her introduction of Bohjalian, highlighting the ANC’s commitment to supporting education about the Armenian Genocide and Armenian American concerns through the arts. “By sponsoring this event as its maiden voyage into a social, cultural and political environment, it [the Film and Arts Committee] intends to develop and set a very high standard for projects to come.” Yacoubian praised “The Sandcastle Girls,” describing it as “one of those books you cannot put down. Moreover, it becomes a book that will permanently be etched in the virtual library of your memory.”
The ANC Film and Arts Committee is an extension of the unprecedentedly successful ANC Grassroots event, which took place last year over Thanksgiving Weekend in Los Angeles.
Bohjalian who was met with a standing ovation at the end of his remarks, was riveting as he discussed the life journey that inspired him to write this book and gave moving testament of his visits to the lands of his Armenian ancestors, to current day Armenia, and Anjar, Lebanon, the home of many fought to defend the villages of Musa Dagh during the Genocide.
Among the elected officials at the special kick-off luncheon were Glendale City Councilman Raffy Manoukian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian, Glendale Unified School District Board Member Greg Krikorian, LA City Controller Wendy Greuel, and LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian’s Chief of Staff Adrin Nazarian. Nazarian and Krikorian are candidates for the California State Assembly in the 46th and 43rd districts respectively.
Special Guests at “The Sandcastle Girls” book launch included Republic of Armenia Parliamentarian Aghvan Vartanian, His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church – Western USA, The Armenian Weekly Editor Khatchig Mouradian and Asbarez English Section editor Ara Khachatourian.
The luncheon will be followed by an evening presentation at 7:30pm, by Bohjalian held at Woodbury University Fletcher Jones Auditorium. The event has limited seating and his open to the public. Bohjalian will then be traveling to events in San Francisco, CA; Watertown, MA; Warwick, RI; New Milford, NJ and Washington, DC where his Capitol Hill debut is co-hosted by Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution lead sponsors, Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). Bohjalian will be meeting with Congressional members throughout the day on August 1 and then offering remarks and signing books beginning at 6 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369.
The complete roster of events across the country is available online.
Armenian Americans and interested readers are encouraged to pre-order ‘The Sandcastle Girls’ online at discounted prices from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Indibound or from their local book sellers.
To join the ANCA in helping put “The Sandcastle Girls” on the Congressional summer reading list through a contribution to the ANCA Endowment donate-a-book program.