Westhampton Author Releases Book Based on Her Childhood in Iran

The book, "The Apple Tree Blossoms in the Fall," has earned her an invite to Oxford University.

Armineh Ohanian, a 17-year resident of Westhampton, never thought a book she penned would be picked up by a publisher, but just four days after she sent in a manuscript to a book titled "The Apple Tree Blossoms in the Fall," she got a letter from Lazy Day Publishing saying her novel is exactly what they have been looking for.

"It was like a miracle," said Ohanian, who self-published her previous book, "Nine Years to Freedom" in 2003 and earlier children's books after receiving rejections from publishers.

"I have a fighting spirit and I wanted to try one more time," Ohanian said.

Her latest book, which loosely based on her own life, is a story of a Christian woman living in a strict Islamic city in Iran.

"It's about a strong woman, named Carineh, and the experiences in her life. She faces hunger and other difficulties, but overcomes," said Ohanian, who spent her youth as an Armenian in Iran, leaving the country at the age of 24, and arriving in America in 1977 after traveling Europe.

Ohanian said through her book she wanted to show her readers the "real" Iran — the Iran that people don't see on network news channels.

The story is also one that highlights different cultures and parts of the world that Ohanian has visited and lived with her family.

In the book, Carineh travels the corners of the world after she resolves not to wear a veil at the onset of the Islamic revolution. She ends her journey on the shores of Westhampton Beach, just like Ohanian.

“For some reason, writing this book was much harder than writing 'Nine Years to Freedom.' Probably, because the theme was about the life experiences of an Armenian woman like myself. However, I enjoyed the work, it reminded me of my own life back in Iran, both as a child and a young girl," said Ohanian, who write the book over a year while living in Abu Dhabi.

Since Ohanian's book was published on September 24, 2012, it has received positive reviews and also earned Ohanian an invite to England's Oxford University in March to talk about her book as part of an International Women's Day event.

Ohanian will also be signing books locally in the near future — she will be at the Hampton Bays Library in April. She is also working on a new book, called “Letters from Abu Dhabi" and also recently co-authored a children's book with her 13-year-old grandson, Alec.

To purchase Ohanian's book, visit Amazon.com, and to read a few chapters of the book, click here.

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pamela thomson February 22, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Wonderful, interesting book!


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