ANC-Grassroots to Launch Bohjalian’s Masterpiece On Genocide

Urge Armenian Americans to put The Sandcastle Girls on the Congressional Summer Reading List by supporting the ANCA book donation campaign (Click to order)

Bohajanlian will attend a kick-off luncheon and presentation in Los Angeles on July 16 and present the book in San Francisco on July 17.

WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Genocide Education Project (GenEd) have teamed up with internationally renowned publisher Doubleday Books to spotlight New York Times Bestselling author Chris Bohjalian’s upcoming novel on the Armenian Genocide on Capitol Hill and in communities across the United States.

Bohjalian’s widely anticipated tour-de-force, The Sandcastle Girls, which goes on sale on July 17th, will take center stage beginning with a special Southern California kick-off luncheon with the author at the Universal Sheraton Hotel, hosted by the ANC-Grassroots Film and the Arts Committee and GenEd, followed by an evening presentation held at Woodbury University Fletcher Jones Auditorium. Tickets for the luncheon are available through the ANC-Western Region office at (818) 500-1918 or online at

Bohjalian will then be traveling to events in San Francisco, CA; Watertown, MA; Warwick, RI; New Milford, NJ and Washington, DC, where his Capitol Hill debut is co-hosted by Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution lead sponsors, Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). Bohjalian will be meeting with Congressional members throughout the day on August 1st and then offering remarks and signing books beginning at 6:00pm at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-369.

See the complete listing of events across the country.

Armenian Americans and interested readers are encouraged to pre-order The Sandcastle Girls online at discounted prices from, and Indiboude or from their local book sellers.

“Bohjalian’s The Sandcastle Girls certainly belongs in every Armenian’s book collection, but more broadly, its powerful depictions of the horrors of genocide makes it a must-read for every American,” said Nora Yacoubian, Chair of the ANCA-WR Film and the Arts Committee. “Through vivid characters and a moving story line, the collective Armenian genocidal experience is presented in a way that touches us all.”

Genocide Education Project Chairman Raffi Momjian concurred, noting, “Bohjalian’s The Sandcastle Girls is a powerful educational tool to help readers – young and old – relate to a topic so abhorrent to us all, but so necessary to understand if we are to prevent future such crimes. Through Chris’ vision and story-telling ability – a whole new audience will learn about this tragedy and will, hopefully, be inspired to ensure the victims and the survivors are never forgotten.”

Putting The Sandcastle Girls and the Armenian Genocide on the Congressional Summer Reading List

In conjunction with The Sandcastle Girls Capitol Hill debut, the ANCA has launched a special donate-a-book campaign asking community members and anti-genocide activists to put Bohjalian’s novel their U.S. Senators’ and Representative’s summer reading list. Community members can pre-order one or more books specifically for distribution on Capitol Hill and legislators across the country through an online donation of $15.41 to the ANCA Endowment Fund on the secure online payment page below:

ANCA Leo Sarkisian Program summer interns will be available to pass out the books upon the July 17th publication and at August 1st the Congressional event with the author.

Critical Acclaim Grows for The Sandcastle Girls
The publishing world has been abuzz with praise for The Sandcastle Girls, with Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal and Booklist collectively offering unprecedented tributes to the author and the book.

“Bohjalian’s powerful novel… depicts the Armenian genocide and one contemporary novelist’s quest to uncover her heritage… His storytelling makes this a beautiful, frightening, and unforgettable read,” wrote Publisher’s Weekly.

Julie Kane from Library Journal concurred, stating “Bohjalian powerfully narrates an intricately nuanced romance with a complicated historical event at the forefront. With the centennial of the Armenian genocide fast approaching, this is not to be missed. Simply astounding.”

Kirkus Reviews cites the ongoing pain of genocide on the descendants of victims and survivors. “An unforgettable exposition of the still too-little-known facts of the Armenian genocide and its multigenerational consequences.” Meanwhile, Booklist’s Elizabeth Dickie proclaims ‘Sandcastle Girls’ “a powerful and moving story based on real events seldom discussed. It will leave you reeling.”

Bohjalian’s Literary Journey
Over the course of his career, New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian has taken readers on a spectacular array of journeys. Midwives brought us to an isolated Vermont farmhouse on an icy winter’s night and a home birth gone tragically wrong. The Double Bind perfectly conjured the Roaring Twenties on Long Island—and a young social worker’s descent into madness. And Skeletons at the Feast chronicled the last six months of World War Two in Poland and Germany with nail-biting authenticity. As The Washington Post Book World has noted, Bohjalian writes “the sorts of books people stay awake all night to finish.”

In his fifteenth book, The Sandcastle Girls, he brings us on a very different kind of journey. This spellbinding tale travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York, in 2012 – a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage, making it his most personal novel to date.

When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British Army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost. Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents’ ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed the “Ottoman Annex,” Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura’s grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family’s history that reveals love, loss – and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.


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