ArmeniaPortraits of Survival and Hope

ArmeniaPortraits of Survival and Hope

Donald Miller

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780520234925

Publisher: University of California Press

Abstract

A remarkable view of how geopolitics affects ordinary people, this book documents the lives of Armenians in the last two decades. Based on intimate interviews with 300 Armenians, it brings together firsthand testimony about the social, economic, and spiritual circumstances of Armenians during the 1980s and 1990s, when the country faced an earthquake, pogroms, and war. The book is a story of extreme suffering and hardship, a searching look at the fight for independence and a complex portrait of the human spirit. A companion to Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide by the same authors, it focuses on four groups of people: survivors of the earthquakes that devastated northwestern Armenia in 1988; refugees from Azerbaijan who fled Baku and Sumgait because of pogroms against them; women, children, and soldiers who were affected by the war in Nagorno-Karabakh; and ordinary citizens who survived several winters without heat because of the blockade against Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan. The authors' narrative situates these accounts contextually and thematically, but the voices of individuals remain paramount.