Aline Ohanesian, author of the recently published novel, Orhan's Inheritance, addressed an audience of 60 people on Thursday evening at Porter Square Books. Before she began her talk, she looked around her and commented, "I love independent book stores!" Marash Girl seconds that thought!
Ohanesian's ancestors were from Sepastia (Sivas), Ottoman Empire, where, according to Ohanesian, there was no physical segregation between the Armenian and Turkish communities. Given that fact, she stated, there must have been moments when love grew between a young woman and a young man, love that knew no religious boundaries. On this premise, and after much research on the period as well as visits to Turkey, Ohanesian chose to set her novel in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire in its declining years, during the Armenian Genocide. Orhan's Inheritance is, among other things, a love story between a 15 year old and an 18 year old, between an Armenian Christian girl and a Turkish Muslim boy; it is the story of Armenians being forcibly torn from their homeland.
Marash Girl began reading Orhan's Inheritance yesterday evening; she has not been able to put the book down. By page 160, her tears were flowing freely.
Orhan's Inheritance has been translated into 12 languages, and is the #1 best seller in Serbia, Croatia and other countries that have suffered ethnic cleansing.
President of the Armenian International Women's Association Barbara Merguerian (left) congratulates author Aline Ohanesian (right),
on the success of the author's first novel, Orhan's Inheritance