Perhaps most people don’t know that the visual effects artist and Indie filmmaker Roger Kupelian, best known as one of the creative forces behind the Academy Award-winning trilogy “The Lord of the Rings,” is a proud Armenian. His cultural heritage has inspired his latest endeavor, the recently released graphic novel “War Gods,” which is the first in a two-part volume of the “East of Byzantium” series that has gripped readers, and has them anxiously awaiting the sequel.

It is a Byzantine-era saga of unparalleled bravery, a fresh new look at the world before the Dark Ages and after the fall of the classical Rome of the Caesars. It is the story of exceptional men and women who must pull together a world torn apart by war, religious strife, and the lust for world domination…from the murder that destroyed family to the battles that regained a kingdom, to the religious conflicts that created the first Christian nation in history and the curse carried down through centuries that culminates in a bloody battlefield – at the edge of Rome and the gates of Persia.

Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase the publication through our bookstore and check out the special offer for an autographed copy.

To buy your copy today, email: or call 212.319.6383, ext. 104

Photo credit: Naira Ayvazyan of

AGBU Ararat hosted a book launch event in New York City this past Friday, August 3, 2012, co-sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), for Chris Bohjalian and his new novel, The Sandcastle Girls. Over 200 enthusiastic guests listened to him weave wonderful anecdotes about life as an author on tour with touching memories from his Armenian childhood. His new book is a must-read. Read full coverage from the event here and buy the book here.

Since it debuted two weeks ago, copies of “The Sandcastle Girls” (Doubleday) by Armenian American author Chris Bohjalian have been flying off the shelves across the country. Now, readers in Boston know the backstory behind the bestselling love story, following a presentation co-sponsored by the AGBU Young Professionals (YP) of Boston.

On Thursday, July 26, 2012, the YP group, in collaboration with the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), hosted a talk with Bohjalian. As the grandson of survivors of Armenian Genocide, Bohjalian recounted, he had long attempted to produce a book set during that period. Only after traveling to Lebanon and Armenia to trace both the history of his family and of the region, was he able to create the novel, his fifteenth to date. It is, Bohjalian stated at the event, the most important book he will write – and one of the enjoyable, as the close to 300 people who came to hear him speak at ALMA will attest.

Bohjalian will have another presentation and signing – which is already “sold out” – at the AGBU Central Office in New York on Friday, August 3, 2012, as part of his national book tour. The event is presented by ANC-NY and Doubleday Publishing, and will be hosted by AGBU Ararat and co-sponsored by the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York (YPGNY), the Armenia Network – NY Region, AYF-YOARF New York “Hyortik” Chapter and Hamazkayin of New York.

The author and professor, Vahakn Dadrian, signing copies of his book, "Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials."

Audience members at the AGBU Toronto Centre.

AGBU Montreal and Toronto recently held two presentations at their respective centers promoting the new book by world-renowned Genocide expert  Vahakn Dadrian, entitled, “Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials,” which he co-authored with fellow scholar and author Taner Akçam, who is of Turkish descent. On February 1, 2012, AGBU Montreal — together with various Armenian organizations of Montreal and the Zoryan Institute of Canada — hosted a lecture by Professor Dadrian at its Center, with over 200 people in attendance. The discussion focused on the significance and criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the process of gathering information for the significant publication, which took over a decade to put together. “Judgment at Istanbul” marks the first complete known documentation of the Ottoman Special Military Tribunal, which took place after World War I, and the trial proceedings that showed the genocidal intent by Turkish leaders against their Armenian citizens.  Following a series of questions asked by audience members, the author signed books for the attendees. All copies were sold out by the end of the evening.

On February 10, AGBU Toronto and AGBU’s Young Professionals (YP) of Toronto — in partnership with the Zoryan Institute and a group of local organizations — hosted a similar lecture by Professor Dadrian at its Toronto Center.  Close to 250 people listened as George Shirinian, the executive director of the Zoryan Institute, introduced the author. Also present was the Ambassador of Armenia, His Excellency Armen Yeganian. As Dadrian continued this promotional tour, AGBU Ararat also co-sponsored a lecture on March 9, 2012, in New Jersey.

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing, both Montreal and Toronto will be hosting Armenian book exhibitions in October to mark the occasion.

The event, titled “Armenian Book Exhibition on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Armenian Printing 1512 – 2012″ will take place at the following locations: