This book review is from Volume 7 of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies (1994), pp. 166-167. The original pagination has not been kept intact and the paragraphing has been altered for web use. This web edition © 2001 Dennis R. Papazian.
Marderos Deranian. Hussenig: The origin, history, and destruction of an
Armenian town. Belmont, MA: Armenian Heritage Press, National Association
for Armenian Studies and Research, 1994.
This book is a work of love by the credited author's son, Hagop Martin Deranian, D.D.S., who beautifully translated into English, with the aid of the Rev. Dr. Herald A.G. Hassessian, and revised the original manuscript written in Armenian. In order to enrich the composition and give the present book a broader scope, Dr. Deranian included essays written by Peniamin Noorigian, Maritza Chopoorian Depoyan, and Hagop Der Ananian, all three natives of Hussenig, and included some material from G.H. Aharonian's book, Hussenig, published in 1965. The predecessor of this work was first published in 1982 in a bilingual edition which went out of print. The present book is a revised and expanded edition of the English-language portion of the original work.
The net result is a beautiful little book, well printed, well designed, and nicely illustrated. Martin Deranian is to be congratulated having brought together disparate materials and carefully and intelligently weaving them together into a carefully constructed and readable whole, which carries the story of Hussenig from its origin to its destruction and the story of Marderos Deranian from his birth in his homeland to his life in America. As Dr. Barbara J. Merguerian correctly noted in her preface, "This is indeed an idealized picture of a community, but it is an idealization that illuminates the strong values and the high aspirations of the Armenians of Hussenig."
Martin Deranian is to be thanked for preserving his father's memory and his father's values in such an appealing way. This delightful little book, a survivor's memoir and more, is suitable to be given to relatives and friends for its insight into the Armenian experience and as a example of the indomitable spirit of the Armenian people. It can also serve as inspiration for subsequent generations of Armenians who do not want their history and the history of their ancestors forgotten in a quickly changing and indifferent world.
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Dennis R. Papazian
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