Book Festival corrects category error- Best Fiction Becomes Best Historical Memoir
New York–Margaret Ajemian Ahnert, author of The Knock at the Door: A Journey Through the Darkness of the Armenian Genocide was honored this weekend at The New York Book Festival. This searing account of her mother’s escape from the horrors of this largely unacknowledged genocide was first honored for Best Fiction.
Ahnert informed the committee of their error, and her inability to accept an award in the fiction category. In recognition of their unintentional error, The New York Book Festival Award Committee immediately and apologetically granted her Best Historical Memoir. While Ahnert’s account may read like fiction: horrific to imagine, painfully honest in its telling, The Knock at the Door honors not only Ester’s heroic fight and survival, but stands as a testament to the multitude who did not live to pass down their own stories.
About the Book: In 1915, Armenian Christians in Turkey were forced to convert to Islam, barred from speaking their language, and often driven out of their homes as the Turkish army embarked on a widespread campaign of intimidation and murder. In this riveting book, Margaret Ajemian Ahnert relates her mother Ester’s terrifying experiences as a young woman during this period of hatred and brutality.
Ahnert’s compelling account of her mother’s suffering is framed by an intimate portrait of her relationship with her 98-year-old mother. Ester’s inspiring stories, told lovingly by her daughter, will give you a window into the harrowing struggle of Armenia’s during a terrible period in human history.
About the Author: Margaret Ahnert was born in New York City in 1938. Growing up, she loved to hear her mother’s stories about her own childhood during the Armenian genocide in Turkey. She has a BA from Goddard College, and an MA from Goucher College. She has pursued a variety of careers: producing television documentaries, co-owning a hotel in Pennsylvania, acting as a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and teaching art appreciation in high schools and elementary schools.