Arlene Avakian’s memoir evokes the quarrels, ambition, prejudice, and courage that shaped her coming of age in a family that immigrated to the United States to escape genocide in Turkey. Inspired by her passionate feminism and strengthened within a loving lesbian relationship, Avakian records and re-examines her personal history, discovering the story of her grandmother, which brings with it a legacy of radical politics and a powerful affirmation of ethnic identity.
"Arlene Avakian is unusually perceptive about the lines that divide, no less than the ties that bind women together. As Avakian tells her story, she also tells that of her Armenian sisters and indeed the story of so many of us womenfolks."--Johnnetta B. Cole, former president of Spelman College "Lion Woman's Legacy is a deeply moving, from-the-inside story of growing up as an Armenian-American woman in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. This tale of ethnicity--recollecting a holocaust nearly unknown outside Armenia--fully integrates race and class in its profound understanding of two worlds."--Margaret Randall, author of Walking to the Edge: Essays of Resistance "An exhilarating, often excruciating record of a woman's struggle for self-discovery and liberation, this remarkable odyssey of a second-generation Armenian woman is told with a novelist's skill, reminding us that America still needs people of vision and determination."--Leo Hamalian, editor of Ararat