Aline Ohanesian biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Aline Ohanesian

Aline Ohanesian

Aline Ohanesian Biography

Aline Ohanesian's great-grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Her history was the kernel for the story that Ohanesian tells in her first novel, Orhan's Inheritance. Ohanesian was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction and Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers. Born in Northridge, California, she lives and writes in San Juan Capistrano, California, with her husband and two young sons.

Aline Ohanesian's website

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Interview

Aline Ohanesian describes being moved to tears while writing her debut novel, Orhan's Inheritance, and how the power of words can forge an identity.

Kathy: I was struck when I first read your novel—and in subsequent edits—by how heartfelt it is, and how vivid. Was that richness and honesty the result of your personal connection to the story? Was it influenced by your family's traditions and travels?

Aline: My entire life, the landscape of my grandparents' villages loomed large in my imagination. I'm not sure if other hyphenated Americans are this way, and by that I mean Argentinean-Americans, Mexican-Americans, et cetera, but even three or four generations later, most Armenian-Americans can tell you exactly which villages their grandparents hailed from. So yes, I had an intimate relationship with the land even before I started writing.

As I started writing, I realized that there was a great deal that was familiar to me: the tastes and smells of the cooking, the aesthetics of the landscape, the sound of certain slang words both in Armenian and in Turkish. Of course, I also did a great deal of research. I have a master's degree in History and I spend a good year reading primary and secondary sources, as well as histories of the region and time period.

What was it like to have your great-grandmother tell you her incredible story of exile, ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Aline Ohanesian at BookBrowse
Orhan's Inheritance jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Aline Ohanesian but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Chris Bohjalian

    Chris Bohjalian

    Chris Bohjalian is the author of twenty books, including The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; The Double Bind; and Midwives which was a number one ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Orhan's Inheritance

    Try:
    The Sandcastle Girls
    by Chris Bohjalian

  • Ava Homa

    Ava Homa

    Ava Homa is a writer, journalist, and activist specializing in women's issues and Middle Eastern affairs. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor in Canada. Her collection of short ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Orhan's Inheritance

    Try:
    Daughters of Smoke and Fire
    by Ava Homa

We recommend 11 similar authors

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