The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey by Dawn Anahid MacKeen [n Library Journal]
“[A]s a reporter, I was spending my life telling other people’s stories and ignoring my own family’s incredible one,” Dawn Anahid MacKeen realized at 35. Her 78-year-old Armenian mother was aging, and MacKeen could no longer ignore her calls to “come home.” In 2006, MacKeen left New York and returned to her Los Angeles childhood home to discover her grandfather’s odyssey during the Armenian Genocide.
Using her forebear’s detailed journals, MacKeen reconstructs not only Stepan Miskjian’s treacherous journey of roundup, death march, escape, betrayal, and miraculous survival, but is able to embark on her own illuminating pilgrimage retracing almost a century later her grandfather’s precarious route through Syria and Turkey. For both Miskjian and MacKeen, the kindness of strangers plays a vital role in restoring a much-needed belief in humanity.
Nearly a decade in the making, MacKeen’s compelling multigenerational saga is alternately voiced by Neil Shah and Emily Woo Zeller, bestowing the dual narratives with distinctive personalities. While Walk is a clear choice for historians interested in the Armenian experience, the Ottoman Empire, and chronicles of modern genocide, all listeners in search of multifaceted family stories – fiction or nonfiction – will find satisfaction here.