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Literary Evening with California Novelist Janigian and Poet and Editor Barba Presented by Tekeyan and AGBU

May 15 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


WATERTOWN – The Tekeyan Cultural Association Boston Chapter and the Armenian General Benevolent Union New England District present a literary evening on May 15 with California novelist Aris Janigian and Susan Barba, poet and editor, as discussant.

Aris Janigian is the author of five novels, the first three of which portray Armenian characters, and co-author, along with April Greiman, of Something from Nothing, a book on the philosophy of graphic design. For his first novel, Bloodvine, Janigian was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “strong and welcome new voice,” and over the course or four subsequent novels, he has plumbed the American experience, from the struggle of 1920’s immigrants to the neurosis and decadence of contemporary culture.

This Angelic Land, set during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, was called “today’s necessary book” by critic D. J. Waldie, and Janigian’s Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont, about a screenwriter who goes from riches to rags, spent 17 weeks on the Los Angeles Times best-seller list. In his soon-to-be released Waiting for Sophia at Shutters on the Beach, Janigian broaches sexual politics and “rape culture,” one of the most heated issues of our times.

Aris Janigian has pursued a three-pronged life and career, as a writer, academic, and following in his father’s footsteps, as a wine grape packer and shipper in Fresno California, where he currently lives. Holding a PhD in psychology, Janigian was Senior Professor of Humanities at Southern California Institute of Architecture, and a contributing writer to West, the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine. He was a finalist for Stanford University’s William Saroyan Fiction Prize and the recipient of the Anahid Literary Award from Columbia University.

Susan Barba is the author of Fair Sun, which was awarded the Anahit Literary Prize and the Minas and Kohar Tölöyan Prize. Her poems have appeared in PoetryThe Yale ReviewThe New York Review of Books, Raritan, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She has a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University, specializing in Armenian, Russian, and English poetry, and she works as a senior editor for New York Review Books. Her new book geode is forthcoming in 2020.

The discussion with Janigian promises to touch upon the Armenian Diaspora; Armenian-American identity; the form(s) of the novel; the relationship between memory, art, and trauma; nostalgia and post-memory. In this connection, Barba has declared to Janigian: “What I am struck by as I read your work is how you give shape and vitality to these terms, probing and troubling them, and thereby renewing them.”


AGBU Center
watertown, Massachusetts 02472 United States
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