The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of fiction! We’re joined by award-winning author Nancy Agabian to discuss her first novel, The Fear of Large and Small Nations. Nancy is in conversation with Amy Freeman, author and Development Director at The Writer’s Center.
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We encourage you to order a copy of the book from your local, independent bookseller or online from the publisher.
Nancy Agabian’s previous books include Me as her again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter, a memoir honored as a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT Nonfiction and shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Writing Prize, and Princess Freak, a collection of poetry and performance art texts. In 2021 she was awarded Lambda Literary Foundation’s Jeanne Cόrdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. The Fear of Large and Small Nations is her first novel. For more info: nancyagabian.com.
About the Book
In Nancy Agabian’s The Fear of Large and Small Nations, feminist writer and teacher Natalee—aka Na—flees the conservative fearmongering of George W. Bush’s America to reclaim her cultural roots in post-Soviet Armenia. As she contends with rigid gender roles and rampant homophobia, learning the language when her linguistic roots in the Ottoman Empire have all but disappeared, and centering her identity as a bisexual Armenian American woman amid her own secret desire for love, Na is soon left with more questions than answers about where her fractured self belongs in the world.
When she falls for Seyran, a much-younger bisexual punk rocker who seems to value her for who she is, it comes as a relief: in a culture where marriage is seen as a source of protection for women, Na has the satisfaction of subverting societal expectations by shielding Seyran from conscription and, after marrying and moving to New York together, deportation. But when Seyran reveals an abusive side, Na becomes trapped in a dangerous codependent web, complicated by intergenerational trauma, political ideals, and, above all, love. To leave him, she will have to choose herself—whoever that is.
Written in gripping short stories interspersed with intimate journal entries and blog posts, the fragmented narrative reveals what is lost in the tightrope journey between cultures ravaged by violence and colonialism—and what is gained when one woman seizes control of her story, pulsating in its many shades and realities, daring to be witnessed.