The memoir Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian, recounts his life growing up as an Armenian-American. It combines perfectly what it means to be an Armenian-American, perfectly describing the assimilation of Armenians but also the preservation of Armenian culture, not only with language, but with food and traditions. While growing up, Peter never knew or heard about the Armenian Genocide and cannot understand why nobody in his family will talk about it with him. In the memoir, Peter struggles to learn exactly what the 1915 genocide was and how it effects his family so much that they fear to speak of it.
I have never been able to connect to a book as much as this. Coming from an Armenian family who was effected deeply by the genocide, I felt like I was Peter. I grew up never understanding the full concept of what the genocide was because it was essentially a family taboo. Peter’s writing really resonated and connected with me personally and I recommend this book to people who are interested in learning about the genocide and the true consequences of such a disastrous event and how it lead to a huge migration of Armenians.
Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library