Dr. Kay Mouradian’s novel, My Mother’s Voice, tells the biographical story of the writer’s mother, Flora Munushian, and her journey of surviving the genocide as a young teenage girl.
The idea for the novel came decades later, when Munushian became ill, impelling Mouradian to write about her mother’s past. “Often I felt like a detective as I tried to piece together scenes that became pieces of a puzzle. Researching and writing my mother’s story opened avenues of discovery and knowledge that have enriched my understanding of life,” she tells the Weekly in an interview.
Mouradian is professor emerita at the Los Angeles Community Colleges. After retiring, she developed yoga and acupuncture strategies to improve her health, and after her mother’s illness, pursued writing as another avenue of healing.
“There are some in the literary community who say, ‘If you want to know the facts, read a newspaper, but if you want to know the truth, read a novel.’ That statement resonated in my brain. Feeling a deep responsibility to history, I decided to write my mother’s story as a novel to paint the truth of 1915 on a larger canvas,” she said.
All of the characters in My Mother’s Voice are either real or based on real people. A couple of characters were created to reflect on the truth of the time, Mouradian explained. “For example, Constantinople was the center for white slavery in the early 1900’s. I needed to develop the possibility that Armenian girls could have been snared into harlotry. Can I be specific to whom it happened? No, but the threat was there,” she said, adding that “there is an element of truth in every scene in my mother’s story.”
A film based on the novel premiered at the Pomegranate Film Festival in Toronto last October, and received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary. It was later screened as an official selection at the ARPA film festival in Los Angeles. My Mother’s Voice serves as a sequel to A Gift in the Sunlight, Mouradian’s first novel, also about her mother’s life.
To purchase the novel, My Mother’s Voice, visit Mouradian’s website at www.kaymouradian.com. It is also available through Amazon.