Jerry Burger's THE SHADOWS OF 1915: Review from LA TIMES (2019)
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In light of the Biden Administration's decision to officially recognize the killing of Armenians in 1915 as a genocide, we're re-posting the Los Angeles Times review of the book, which came out in 2019.
A new novel, ‘Shadows of 1915,’ centers on lingering memories of the Armenian Genocide
Its minimal representation in English-language literature and film is partially why “it has fallen out of awareness in our larger culture,” Burger said.
He was attuned to the fact that he was writing about a community he didn’t belong to, “and thought it was important to get it right,” he said.
“I was sensitive to [the idea of cultural appropriation] and didn’t rely on stereotypes,” he added.
To do that, he interviewed several people who grew up in what was once called Armenian Town in Fresno. One man he met, Berge Bulbulian, had written “The Fresno Armenians,” which is filled with details about the exact community on which Burger wanted to focus his novel.
(There is also a short scene in the novel involving Glendale.)
In particular, one story told to his wife, Marlene, many years ago haunted him and became the basis for a pivotal scene in the book. During an interview, a woman described to Marlene Burger, a former reporter, how she lost her infant daughter during the genocide.
“These are people in a situation where there are no easy answers,” he said.
Published by Golden Antelope Press, “Shadows of 1915" is available as an e-book on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble.