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Why do you think the author included the quote from Hitler as the epigraph? Did your ideas change after reading Forgotten Fire? Vahan Kenderian has never known fear until the Turks come to take his father away.

How did the attitude of the Armenian community change once the Turks took possession of the town and began the genocide? Describe the Kenderian family before the Turks shatter their lives.

Cite evidence from the novel that Vahan greatly admires his father. How does the memory of his father give him the courage he needs to survive? Were you aware of the Armenian genocide before reading this book? What other ethnic wars have occurred since World War II? Vahan has several violent experiences during his journey to Constantinople. Discuss his behavior afterward. Did the graphic descriptions disturb your reading?

How does each give him courage, even in the smallest way? Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart. How does Vahan react when he witnesses the murders of his brothers by the Turkish soldiers? How do Dr. Tashian help Vahan on his journey toward a new life? What is the meaning of the title Forgotten Fire? How does the quote from Hitler relate to the Armenian genocide?

When did you know you wanted to become a writer? When I was fifteen, I was given a writing assignment for my sophomore English class. We were told to write a short story about any experience in our past. It was the first time I had ever tried to write a short story, but I knew even before I sat down to write it that it was something I would be able to do well. It was the first time I had ever felt that way about anything. And as I started to write the story, I found myself actually enjoying the experience of creating and improvising.

What inspired you to write this story? When my great-uncle, Vahridj Kenderian, was dying, he made a tape of his experiences as a child during the Armenian genocide. I always thought of that tape as a kind of note a marooned man will place in a bottle and throw out to sea, hoping that someone will find the bottle and tell the story he had lived with his whole life. Ten years after his death, his son Richard gave me the tape.

As I listened to it, I became so affected by what I was hearing that I knew that I had to write this book. Why did you decide to write this story as fiction? Did you ever consider another approach? Well, I was always a fiction writer, so it was natural for me to do it that way. How did you approach the research for the book?

The Zohrab Center, an Armenian library in Manhattan, was very helpful. But I always thought of the research as a tool, not an end in itself. How long did it take you to write Forgotten Fire? It took about ten years, on and off.

I was used to writing shorter pieces, so, in the beginning, I was a little intimidated by the prospect of working on a much larger canvas.

For a while, I really felt like the wrong man for the job. I chose to write the book because I knew it would be a challenge, but I had no idea how challenging it would be, emotionally and technically, and sometimes I had to take a step back from it to recharge and regain some perspective. I think that the writing is stronger and more effective because the material was difficult for me emotionally.

In order to bring Vahan to life, I had to find his emotions inside myself; I had to feel what he felt, moment by moment, so that the reader could feel it and experience it as well.

That was a challenge, but a very worthwhile one. What is the significance of the title? The Hitler quote at the beginning of the book is meant to convey that the Armenian genocide was a forgotten chapter in world history, and also show the connection between the genocide of the Armenians and the later genocide of the Jews. In other words, if we forget the past, we imperil our future. How aware of Armenian history were you as a young boy?

During the writing of the book, however, I realized that what had happened to the Kenderian family, my grandmother, and great-uncles and great-aunts had somehow been inside of me my whole life, that the trauma of those events had been passed through the seed from one generation of Armenians to another.

Writing the book freed me of that, in a way. That said, I think of this story, aside from being specifically about the genocide, as being a metaphor for life. The book is about loss and adversity of any kind, and who we become as a result of that. This story is based on the early life of your great-uncle. What happened to him after he emigrated? He had a very good life. He married, had children, a wonderful home in New Jersey.

He had his own business, as a photoengraver, but he was also a fine painter and sculptor, a very cultured man. And a man of great warmth and humor, which is extraordinary, considering all he saw and suffered. I think his father would have been very proud of the man he became. Was there a part of the book that was particularly difficult to write?

There were a lot of difficult parts—the march to the river, the death of his brother in the empty house, especially at the very end, just before he died. But each experience presented its own challenges. I think I started to relax a little when he got on the boat to Constantinople, because I knew that he was finally safe and no one else was going to die. What has been the reaction of Armenians to the book?

Armenians and non-Armenians have responded to the book with great enthusiasm. If something happens to one of us, young or old, it happens to all of us, so I think people relate to Vahan as a human being. So I think people of all ages can identify with Vahan. This book contains a number of violent scenes that relate the atrocities committed by the Turks against the Armenians. What was your purpose in depicting these difficult incidents? Forgotten Fire is based on a true story and every one of those events happened, not just to Vahan, but to countless other Armenians.

In order to appreciate the man Vahan eventually becomes, you have to know what he has experienced, and how those experiences forged him. Also, in a society that sometimes glamorizes or trivializes violence, I think it is a good thing to tell young adults what violence really is, and the effect it has.

Can you explain the significance of home and family to your main character, Vahan? They represent love, security, a place where he belongs and is safe. Like most of us, I think he took those things for granted. I think all of us, no matter what age, are looking for a place where we are safe and loved.

Ultimately, however, as the coppersmith said, I think that the most secure home is the one we build inside ourselves. What did you read as a child? Did you have any favorite authors growing up? I loved Edgar Allan Poe—I loved the rhythms in his poetry. I loved The Phantom Tollbooth and Dr. How has your life changed since the publication of Forgotten Fire?

The most wonderful development is people telling me how much they liked the book, and what it meant to them. To know that the story is reaching people and affecting them deeply means more to me than I can say. He does have a gun and a mission: to murder his childhood hero. Francis lost most of his face when he fell on a grenade in France. He received the Silver Star for bravery, but was it really an act of heroism? Now, having survived, he is looking for a man he once admired and respected, a man adored by many people, a man who also received a Silver Star for bravery.

Adem hates existing in a constant state of terror. Every week, friends and family are beaten, teargassed, and killed. Now Adem must decide how to survive this never-ending nightmare—with or without his family. Irene Gut was just seventeen when the war began: a Polish patriot, a student nurse, and a good Catholic girl.

As the war progressed, the soldiers of two countries stripped her of all she loved—her family, her home, her innocence—but the degradations only strengthened her will. In World War II, it was called battle fatigue. In World War I, it was shell shock. In the Civil War, people did not comprehend the mental anguish of war—but they did know that when the soldiers returned, they were different. This is the gripping, heart-wrenching story of war as seen through the eyes of Charley Goddard, a fifteen-year-old who enlisted in the First Minnesota Volunteers in June and fought in almost every major battle in the Civil War.

Related Web Sites Armenian National Institute Official site dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian genocide.


The Forgotten Fire

Why do you think the author included the quote from Hitler as the epigraph? Did your ideas change after reading Forgotten Fire? Vahan Kenderian has never known fear until the Turks come to take his father away. How did the attitude of the Armenian community change once the Turks took possession of the town and began the genocide?


Forgotten Fire

SparkNotes is here for you with everything you need to ace or teach! Find out more. Forgotten Fire is a young adult novel by Adam Bagdasarian. It was the author's debut novel, and was published in

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