Armenian Genocide Remembrance Program

BohjailianChris Bohjalian read excerpts from The Sandcastle Girls and discussed his personal experience writing the book. Through words and images he told the audience how he had made an earlier attempt to write a novel about the Armenian Genocide but was unsatisfied with the result and abandoned the effort. Years later, inspired by his father's failing health, he took on a new approach and wrote The Sandcastle Girls.

Here’s what Chris Bohjalian says about The Sandcastle Girls:
“I think The Sandcastle Girls may be the most important book I’ve written. It is certainly the most personal. It’s a big, broad, sweeping historical love story. The novel moves back and forth in time between the present and 1915; between the narrative of an Armenian-American novelist at mid-life and her grandparents’ nightmarish stories of survival in Aleppo, Van, and Gallipoli in 1915. Those fictional grandparents are not by any stretch my grandparents, but the novel would not exist without their courage and charisma.”Sandcastle girls2

Chris Bohjalian is the author of fifteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Night Strangers, Skeletons at the Feast, and The Double Bind. His novel Midwives was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages, and three of his novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers).

This program was co-sponsored by the Brookdale Community College Visiting Writers Series.

Chris Bohjalian had a limited number of autographed copies of his books for sale at this event. The Sandcastle Girls is also available on


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