We Are All Armenian: Voices from the Diaspora (Hardcover)
A collection of essays about Armenian identity and belonging in the diaspora.
In the century since the Armenian Genocide, Armenian survivors and their descendants have written of a vast range of experiences using storytelling and activism, two important aspects of Armenian culture. Wrestling with questions of home and self, diasporan Armenian writers bear the burden of repeatedly telling their history, as it remains widely erased and obfuscated. Telling this history requires a tangled balance of contextualizing the past and reporting on the present, of respecting a culture even while feeling lost within it.
We Are All Armenian brings together established and emerging Armenian authors to reflect on the complications of Armenian ethnic identity today. These personal essays elevate diasporic voices that have been historically silenced inside and outside of their communities, including queer, multiracial, and multiethnic writers. The eighteen contributors to this contemporary anthology explore issues of displacement, assimilation, inheritance, and broader definitions of home. Through engaging creative nonfiction, many of them question what it is to be Armenian enough inside an often unacknowledged community.
Aram Mrjoian is an editor-at-large at the Chicago Review of Books, an associate fiction editor at Guernica, and a 2022 Creative Armenia–AGBU Fellow.
— New York Times
Every essay from this compelling group of featured authors brings a unique and powerful perspective on what it means to search for one’s authentic identity when disconnected from homeland, language, and heritage. Textured and emotionally resonant, these entries ask the question What does it mean to be 'Armenian enough'? Together, the anthology honors the history of the lives lost and forever changed by the Armenian Genocide and resulting diaspora and charts a course forward through the power of telling and retelling important stories. It’s both a stunning achievement and a welcome addition to our literary record.
— Chicago Review of Books
Part party and part opera—both delightful and wrenching, altogether joyful...Each essay builds on the last, deepening the reader’s understanding of the multi-generational impact of genocide on families and prompting contemplation on notions of ethnicity. The essays do not flinch in the face of sometimes harrowing events, but every one also offers sweetness, grace, and resolve to face these truths and to move forward with hope and compassion. It’s an exquisite collection of essays.
With passion and insight, the writers [in We Are All Armenian] explore and express the joys of and obstacles to constructing an affiliation with their ethnic and diasporic communities that does not bind them to a prescribed mode of identity and belonging. Often inventive and surprising, these accounts of searching for association without unwelcome constraints will enrich the still-expanding narrative on expressive and analytic discourses of minority identities and commitments...Highly recommended.
A lovely, much-needed compilation that presents a culture of great import, examining diasporic experiences in deeply-felt prose.
— Nowruz Journal