WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of Eastern United States recently named Aline Ohanesian the winner of the 3rd Minas and Kohar Tölölyan Prize in Contemporary Literature for her book, Orhan’s Inheritance.
Ohanesian was born in Kuwait and immigrated to Southern California at the age of three. After getting her MA in history, she abandoned her Ph.D. studies when she realized her heart belonged to writing. She was the finalist for the PEN Bellwether Award for Socially Engaged Fiction and the Glimmer Train Best New Writers Award. Orhan’s Inheritance is her first novel and is currently being translated into several languages. Ohanesian is an alumna of the Bread Loaf and Squaw Valley Writer’s conferences. She lives in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., with her husband and two young sons.
Named after one of the major Armenian literary critics of the second half of the 20th century and his wife, a devoted teacher of that literature for decades, the annually awarded Minas and Kohar Tölölyan Prize in Contemporary Literature recognizes the work produced by talented writers working in North America. The prize is intended to encourage new work in all the major genres of literary production, as they are currently understood in North America. Works in Armenian, English, French, and Spanish are considered if the authors are of Armenian ancestry, or the work has an Armenian theme or revolves around an Armenian topic.
Dr. Ara Nazarian initiated this prize a number of years ago to encourage and recognize those who wish to write on Armenian topics. The financial award of $1,500 is made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Edward and Vergine Misserlian of San Francisco, Calif.
The jury consists of Dr. Sima Aprahamian (Montreal), Manoush Agnerian (Montreal), Dr. Vartan Matiossian (New York/New Jersey), Gourgen Arzoumanian (California), and Yervant Kotchounian (California).
The winner of the prize was announced by the chairman of the Hamazkayin Eastern Regional Executive, Dr. Dikran Kazandjian, at Hamazkayin’s Annual Pan Gathering on June 6 in Providence, R.I.
The Eastern USA region of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, constitutes one of the branches of the worldwide Hamazkayin family, founded in 1928. Hamazkayin of the Eastern United States, headquartered in Massachusetts, consists of eight chapters: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Washington, D.C.