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January, 2016

Greetings and Happy New Year!

This month, we're pleased to feature a new work of nonfiction. The Hundred-Year Walk by Dawn Anahid MacKeen is the
inspiring story of a young Armenian man's harrowing escape from genocide and   his granddaughter's quest to retrace his steps.

Read on to learn more from the author and reviewers, and enter to win a copy.


Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp 

The Hundred-Year Walk 
by Dawn Anahid MacKeen 
Nonfiction / 112 pages / Hardcover 
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt /
January 2016

Dear Reader,

Have you ever heard stories about your family, and wanted to know more? Would you uproot your life to find out?

A decade ago, I was pulled into the dusty pages of my grandfather's past, to a time of empires and sultans and horse-drawn carriages, when more than a million Armenians died in the Ottoman Empire's mass deportations of World War I, and took their stories with them.

Thankfully, my grandfather survived and wrote his down. Using his journal, I retraced his footsteps from his hometown outside present day Istanbul, Turkey, all the way to the Syrian desert. My book alternates between our two journeys, nearly a century apart. It is about family, and the ties that bind us together, and I hope it makes you think about your own history, and the generations that came before you.

Dawn MacKeen

About The Hundred-Year Walk   

In the heart of the Ottoman Empire as World War I rages, Stepan Miskjian's world becomes undone. He is separated from his family as they are swept up in the government's mass deportation of Armenians into internment camps. Gradually realizing the unthinkable -- that they are all being driven to their deaths -- he fights, through starvation and thirst, not to lose hope. Just before killing squads slaughter his caravan during a forced desert march, Stepan manages to escape, making a perilous six-day trek to the Euphrates River carrying nothing more than two cups of water and one gold coin. In his desperate bid for survival, Stepan dons disguises, outmaneuvers gendarmes, and, when he least expects it, encounters the miraculous kindness of strangers. 
The Hundred-Year Walk alternates between Stepan's saga and another journey that takes place a century later, after his family discovers his long-lost journals. Reading this rare firsthand account, his granddaughter Dawn MacKeen finds herself first drawn into the colorful bazaars before the war and then into the horrors Stepan later endured. Inspired to retrace his steps, she sets out alone to Turkey and Syria, shadowing her resourceful, resilient grandfather across a landscape still rife with tension. With his journals guiding her, she grows ever closer to the man she barely knew as a child. Their shared story is a testament to family, to home, and to the power of the human spirit to transcend the barriers of religion, ethnicity, and even time itself. 

Reviews of The Hundred-Year Walk  

"This previously untold story of survival and personal fortitude is on par with Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken."
-Library Journal, starred review

"I am in awe of what Dawn MacKeen has done here. She has elucidated a complicated ethnic and political history through a delightfully literary lens. Her sentences sing. Her research shines. Her readers will be rapt -- and a lot smarter by the end."
-Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

To learn more, visit Dawn MacKeen's website and follow her on Twitter.

Invite the Author to Your Book Club:  Dawn MacKeen is available to speak to your book club via Skype,
or visit if you're in the Los Angeles area. Contact her via her website.

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