AGBU Young Professionals of Boston

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AGBU YP Boston Co-Sponsors an Evening with Chris Bohjalian

Posted by [email protected] on August 7, 2012 at 8:20 PM

AGBU YP Boston Co-Sponsors an Evening with Chris Bohjalian Watertown, MA - On the evening of Thursday, July 26, 2012, the AGBU Young Professionals of Boston, the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) collaborated to co-sponsor a book talk by New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian as his latest novel, The Sandcastle Girls, gains national attention. The complimentary event, which was open to the public, was attended by close to 300 people and held at ALMA with a reception that followed. Books were available for purchase and signing by the author. Laura Michael - AGBU YP Boston Chairperson, served on the planning committee alongside Barbara J. Merguerian - ALMA VP of the Board of Trustees, Caroline Ly – ALMA Program Manager, Marc Mamigonian – NAASR Director of Academic Affairs, Catherine Minassian – NAASR Administrative Director, Todd Doughty – Doubleday Books Director of Publicity and Khatchig Mouradian – Armenian Weekly Editor and PhD. Candidate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University. After penning 14 books, which mainly all take place in New England, Bohjalian has written his fifteenth novel, The Sandcastle Girls, whose narrative shifts between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915, and Bronxville, New York, in 2012. Described as a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author's Armenian heritage, The Sandcastle Girls is the author's most personal novel to date and according to Bohjalian, “Pure and simple, the best book I will ever write—and the most important. I know this in my heart.” During his presentation, Bohjalian explained how he had tried to write a novel based around the Armenian Genocide years ago but he struggled and was never pleased with the manuscript. After digging deeper into his family’s history, and at the urging of a friend, The Sandcastle Girls was born. Armenian Weekly editor and fellow young professional, Khatchig Mouradian, also played an important role. He assisted Bohjalian with the historical and factual information for the book. Mouradian even brought Bohjalian to Lebanon and facilitated his first trip to Armenia so that he could connect with his heritage and history further. Bohjalian showed photographs from his recent pilgrimages during the book discussion. The Sandcastle Girls book tour kicked off in Los Angeles and will cover 22 states. Bohjalian and his publicist decided to get local Armenian communities involved when visiting areas with large Armenian populations. AGBU YP Boston was thrilled to be a part of the book tour because Bohjalian is such a respected author and because The Sandcastle Girls strikes a chord with Armenians everywhere. Laura Michael, Chairperson of AGBU YP Boston, shared her feelings that night. “As an American and an avid reader, I know Chris Bohjalian’s work very well. As an Armenian American, I am so appreciative and proud of Chris Bohjalian for telling our people’s story and educating the world on the horrific events of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government.” The Sandcastle Girls was released on July 17, 2012 and is already a New York Times Best Seller. It was also already named Oprah’s Book of the Week on July 23, 2012. For further information on Chris Bohjalian, The Sandcastle Girls and the book tour, please visit

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