Alice Ketabgian to Present ‘Life in Istanbul: A Family Odyssey’ at Ararat-Eskijian Museum

Alice Ketabgian will present book "Life in Istanbul: A Family Odyssey" on Jan. 8, 2017 at Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, California.
Alice Ketabgian will present book "Life in Istanbul: A Family Odyssey" on Jan. 8, 2017 at Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, California.

Alice Ketabgian will present book “Life in Istanbul: A Family Odyssey” on Jan. 8, 2017 at Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, California.

MISSION HILLS, Calif.—Alice Ketabgian will present her recent book depicting her life’s experiences while growing up in Istanbul as the child of survivors of the Armenian Genocide on Sunday, January 8, 2017, at 4pm, at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, Sheen Chapel, 15105 Mission Hills Road, Mission Hills, California. The program is sponsored by the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, the Organization of Istanbul Armenians, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).

Ketabgian describes the later stages of the Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government against its minorities, while living in constant fear for their lives as Christians in a Muslim world.  The book is partly a story of resilience while attempting to find a way of getting out of a suffocating environment, as well as a story of the past events of survival that her ancestors experienced.  Eventual relocation to the United States to continue her education comes with its own unique encounters, both in school and life itself, which adds to the immigrant’s narrative.

Alice Ketabgian received an M.S. in Human Physiology from the UCLA School of Medicine in 1968 and later became a registered dietitian.  After working as a clinical dietitian in her husband Dr. Gregory Ketabgian’s internal medicine office for a number of years, she became the office manager and functioned in that capacity for the following 25 years until their retirement in 2004.

She will be introduced by her daughter, Dr. Tamara Ketabgian, Professor of English Literature at Beloit College, who will also give a short talk on challenges of writing memoirs. Dr. Ketabgian is a graduate of Harvard College and received a Ph.D. from Princeton University. At Beloit College, she teaches classes both in her specialty and in a variety of interdisciplinary topics, including modern urban culture, life writing, and autobiography.

For more information about this program, contact Ararat-Eskijian Museum at (747) 500-7585 or, or NAASR at (617) 489-1610 or


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One Comment;

  1. W. Spargur said:

    Mrs. Ketabgian’s book, “Life in Istanbul, One Family’s Odyssey” is written well and for those of us that have met and spoken with her, it is written as she speaks. She shows intelligence, sensitivity and her personal character in her writing. Throughout the discussion of difficult times, such as the religious and political discrimination that occurred while she lived as a child and teenager in Turkey, she maintains optimism and a kindness during everyday life. There is one story about her brother that tries to tear your heart out, but is written with great sensitivity and observation. There are many other snippets that adorn the pages such as, “Even the smell of the wind was special here because of the hills surrounding us were covered with wildflowers and herbs such as sage, lavender, and especially a rose-scented geranium …” There is wonder and amazement with her entry into her first theme park after her recent arrival in the United States. And of course, don’t forget to read about the noises made by the neighbors upstairs!
    The book is interesting and is a great read from the perspective of a youth growing up and living in Istanbul, her emigration as a teenager and growing into adulthood in the United States. I recommend reading Mrs. Ketabgian’s book, “Life in Istanbul, One Family’s Odyssey”; it is interesting and well written.