WATERTOWN — On April 7, the Armenian Museum of America will be hosting a book presentation and signing with Heather Martin, the author of new book, Reclaiming Konia: A Tale of Love, Loss and the Armenian Genocide. The program will be held at 7:30 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the museum in the Adele & Haig Der Manuelian Galleries.
Melkon Jenanyan — an Armenian preacher who died in 1956 — has come back to tell his story according to his great-granddaughter Heather Martin. From Melkon’s wish to share his trauma related to the Armenian Genocide, Martin is now the author of the novel based on Melkon’s life story. Reclaiming Konia is now available in print and through Kindle on Amazon.
“My father was really, really clear — Melkon, his grandfather — wanted nothing to do with the old country,” said Martin. “Melkon’s children were not taught Armenian or Turkish, even though he wrote his sermons in both languages. He never spoke of any violence he experienced, violence which caused them to leave before the 1915 genocide killed 1.5 million Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. It wasn’t until I was inspired to write his story that he began to vocalize many pent up regrets and pain. I’m not a psychic — but every writer is inspired by some unknown force, I just happened to know who it was that was influencing my creative process.”
It is the author’s hope that as more people read Reclaiming Konia and other works about the Genocide, that the Armenian generation will begin to heal their trauma surrounding it. Martin also hopes that it will bring more awareness to non-Armenians about the political challenges surrounding the Armenian Genocide.
“Ultimately this novel was about more than just the political component,” she said. “I had the chance to help my ancestors heal from a trauma that occurred over 100 years ago through my writing. In the process I have rekindled the family legacy and joyful memories of those who have passed on.”
Along with being a writer, she has an eponymous consulting firm that helps small and midsized companies with their strategy and sales, and also provides career consulting and resume writing services to individuals.