Monday, April 6, 2015

"Orhan's Inheritance"

Aline Ohanesian was born in Kuwait and immigrated to So. Cal at the age of three. After getting her MA in History, she abandoned her PhD studies when she realized her heart belonged to the novel. Her writing was a finalist for the PEN Bellwether Award for Socially Engaged Fiction and the Glimmer Train Best New Writers Award.

Ohanesian applied the Page 69 Test to Orhan's Inheritance, her first novel, and reported the following:
This scene takes place in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Kemal is a young artist whose got his head in the clouds. When the local Imam catches him drawing, which is considered a sin in their religion, his father punishes him. He says, among other things, "There is no poetry here. Only survival." I've given a lot of thought to the perceived tension between practical things and creative or spiritual pursuits. Though this isn't one of the main themes in the book, I'm always fascinated when people in the harshest conditions, people who are suffering from hunger and disease, engage in the most poetic and creative pursuits.
Visit Aline Ohanesian's website.

--Marshal Zeringue