||August 31, 2005
Born to immigrant parents from Turkey, this book consists of authors' witty and sometimes painful memories of growing up in Cairo during World War II, Israel's independence and Egypt's transition to Republic.
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In her award-winning book the author captures the universal immigrant experience through her personal memories. The scene is set in Cairo in the 1940's. She is a member of a tightly knit Armenian family living in an expatriate community of genocide survivors, or escapees, like her parents, from Turkey, during and after orld War I. Peaceful life, joy with younger brother's arival and happy celebrations with the clan are rocked by World War II, trauma in the family and older brother's departure behind the Iron Curtain. The usual inter- generational tensions defending tradition against emancipation are constantly present, especially with regard to the inferior status of women. It is also a turbulent period in Egypt's political history, transitioning from kingdom to republic.
The Immigrants' Daughter, “laced with a perfect mix fo drama and humor . . .” is a triumph over destiny, a leap from passive acceptance of fate into a fierce battle for self-determination. Three educational institutions have been interested in reprinting excerpts from the book for use as an instructional tool.
This book is available in paperback as well as in digital format at Booklocker.com, Amazon.com Ikindle), Barnes&Noble.com (Nook), Apple digital shelves (Ipad only). It is also available on order from regular bookstores like Abril Bookstores in Glendale, California, Vroman's in Pasadena, California AGBU USA Bookstore online and others.
Author won Dan Poynter's 2012 Global E-Book Award and Best Books 2006 Award, both in multicultural nonfiction category.
"As I grow up, I learn why graduation from an Armenian school, even from kindergarten, is so meaningful in our immigrant community. We represent the sprouts of a massacred generation. Every commencement is a regeneration from ashes and a triumph over the perpetrators who wanted to erase our nation from the face of the earth."
"Between Mama's death, World War II, and the insecurities of life, childhood slips away unnoticed."
Story Circle Reviews - A question of Identity
"Where do you come from?" is the first question of Mary Terzian's absorbing memoir of her journey from her native land of Egypt to the United States. The Immigrants' Daughter is a story about personal identity: of shifting cultural contexts within which a young woman must find, and finally create, herself. . .
. . . Perhaps we can all echo Mary's credo: "Where do I come from? I come from the core of humanity, from a combination of joys and sorrows, from circumstances that fashion destiny, from experiences that forge character, from the sum total of expressed or repressed emotions that I have entertained during my life."
Mary Terzian's compelling memoir is told in the present tense, which gives it vigor and urgency. The book is a good read, a thoughtful presentation of a difficult life's passage, and a richly-colored portrait of Armenian immigrant life in pre- and post-war Egypt.
©Copyright by the author, 2002-2005. Reprint ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to http://www.storycircle.org/BookReviews Contact our Book Review Editor with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate parties.
MBR Review - Against All Odds
MBR Review, August 2006, Reviewers Bookwatch, Blake's shelf)
This is the moving dramatic story of the early life of Mary Terzian. It is told in a first person voice. The story progresses from Mary's birth and preschool through to her young adulthood. Mary Terzian spent her childhood in a community of immigrants in the city of Cairo. These people have been traumatized by genocide and deportation from Historical Armenia under Ottoman rule. This inquisitive young girl's questions go unanswered. She does not understand the "why" behind the disparity in gender roles, the importance of tradition, religious superstitions, and cultural issues . . .
. . .I found myself not wanting to miss a single word of this journey. The author has a unique way of using tongue in cheek humor to lighten the impact of hopelessness. Terzian is a talented writer with a wealth of experience to share. I hope she is working on a sequel to this captivating, heartwarming, and unforgettable book.
Reviewed by Danielle Feliciano for Reader Views (2/06)
“The Immigrant’s Daughter” is the story of Mary Terzian’s childhood in Cairo, Egypt. She is the daughter of immigrants who escaped genocide and settled in Egypt . . .
. . .From the very first page, we are able to see the spark in Ms. Terzian that no doubt helped her surpass many of the barriers she faced in her life . . .
. . . Ms. Terzian did a fine job of sharing her life with the reader. The book almost reads more like a collection of short stories than it does a traditional biography. Through her stories and anecdotes, we are treated to an insider’s view of what it was like to grow up in Mary’s world . . .
. . .Mary ultimately triumphs over the father and the culture that tried to keep her in their control. She grows into a strong, independent woman who realizes that she has as much to offer the world as it has to offer her.
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