SAN FRANCISCO—The Genocide Education Project (GenEd) and the UC Berkeley Armenian Studies Program will host an evening with Dana Walrath, author of “Like Water on Stone,” a novel in verse for young adults, on Tuesday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. at San Francisco’s Vaspouragan Hall at 51 Commonwealth Avenue.
“Like Water on Stone” is a young adult novel in verse about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This haunting novel tells the story of fourteen-year-old twins Shahen and Sosi who flee into the mountains when Ottoman pashas implement their plans to eliminate all Armenians. The orphaned twins and their younger sister hide by day and run at night, crossing mountain ridges and rivers red with blood. Lyrical language wraps the description of the Armenian genocide in a note of magical realism with Ardziv, an eagle, describing the children’s escape.
Dr. Walrath will speak about her experiences in Armenia as a Fulbright Scholar, her travels to Western Armenia in 1984 and how these journeys influenced the book, which is being adapted as an animated film, premiering in Armenia in April, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Dana Walrath is the granddaughter of survivors of the Armenian Genocide. She earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University. She completed “Like Water on Stone” (Delacorte/Random House, 2014), her first novel, during her year as a Fulbright Scholar in Armenia working on a project for her award-winning graphic memoir series “Aliceheimer’s” (Harvest, 2013). When not in the mountains of Armenia, she lives in the mountains of Vermont where she is on faculty at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine.
Publisher’s Weekly has called Walrath’s book “a shocking tale of a bleak moment in history, told with stunning beauty.”
Chris Bohjalian, author of the”The Sandcastle Girls” said of the book: “I have walked through the remnants of the Armenian civilization in Palu and Chunkush; I have stood on the banks of the Euphrates. And still I was unprepared for how deeply moved I would be by Dana Walrath’s poignant, unflinching evocation of the Armenian genocide. Her beautiful poetry and deft storytelling stayed with me long after I had finished this powerful novel in verse.”