Author Virginia Gavian Rivers turns family stories into historical fiction

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New book covers events leading to massacre of Armenians in eastern Turkey

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Author Virginia Gavian Rivers’ father was named after an uncle killed in the massacres of Armenians in eastern Turkey in 1895. His Christian-Armenian family was sheltered by Muslim neighbors during the violence, so how did he die? In “Prelude to Genocide: Incident in Erzerum” (published by Archway Publishing), Rivers imagines those circumstances, sketching out the details of a Muslim army captain sheltering his Christian neighbors amidst the onslaught of violence. Rivers says her novel serves as a prelude “to the better-known Genocide of Armenians in Turkey, twenty years later.”

Rivers has crafted the novel’s themes in a way that readers can identify with, as they speak to truths that transcend cultural boundaries – love, loyalty and revenge – and demonstrate how these truths inform and interplay with violence and its detritus. The story contemplates how peace can so easily give way to violence and genocide. The contextualized experiences surrounding the Armenian Genocide lead to further understanding of how minorities can come to face marginalization and violence against them.

Rivers spent 25 years writing “Prelude to Genocide.” She found the time to write while working with extensive volunteer commitments. She is now looking forward to her 80th birthday.

“Prelude to Genocide”
By Virginia Gavian Rivers
Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 386 pages | ISBN 9781480818743
Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5 in | 386 pages | ISBN 9781480818736
E-Book | 386 pages | ISBN 9781480818750
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Virginia Gavian Rivers worked as a journalist, editor and internal publications manager for a major bank in Philadelphia, Pa., before retiring to write this book. Her research took her to eastern Turkey and later to the Republic of Armenia. Her youngest grandson, Garen, was adopted from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

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