Marjorie Housepian Dobkin: A Literary Beacon of Armenian-American Culture

Marjorie Housepian Dobkin (1922-2013) stands as a towering figure in Armenian-American literature, her works bridging the chasm between history and narrative with grace and scholarly acumen. Born in New York, Dobkin’s journey into the literary world was marked by her insightful exploration of her Armenian heritage, which resonated deeply with readers around the globe.

Her debut novel, “A Houseful of Love,” released in 1957, immediately captured the hearts of critics and readers alike, earning a spot on the coveted “New York Times” bestseller list. The novel’s translation into multiple languages attested to its universal appeal and the profound connection it forged with an international audience.

Dobkin’s scholarly prowess shone brightly with the publication of “The Smyrna Affair” (1971), also known as “Smyrna 1922.” This seminal work was lauded by scholars as a pivotal study of the catastrophic events that led to the destruction of the ancient Greek city of Smyrna in 1922 by Turkish forces. Her meticulous research and compelling narrative brought to light the harrowing details of this historical tragedy, contributing significantly to the academic discourse on the subject.

Perhaps one of her most impactful contributions was the 1966 article “The Unremembered Genocide,” published in “Commentary” magazine. As the first major post-war essay to address the Armenian Genocide, it played a crucial role in reigniting public interest and discourse on the atrocities that heralded the onset of the modern age of genocide. Her work not only educated but also inspired a renewed commitment to remembering and understanding the past.

Beyond her literary achievements, Dr. Dobkin was a dedicated educator, imparting her knowledge and passion for literature to students for many years. Her tenure as associate dean of students at Barnard College further showcased her commitment to academic excellence and her profound impact on the lives of countless individuals.

Marjorie Housepian Dobkin’s legacy is one of enlightenment and remembrance, her writings a testament to the power of literature to transcend cultural boundaries and illuminate the darkest chapters of history. Her voice continues to echo through the annals of Armenian-American literature, reminding us of the enduring strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.


Here are some authoritative sources where you can find more information about Marjorie Housepian Dobkin and her works:

These sources should offer valuable insights into Dobkin’s contributions to literature and her impact on Armenian-American cultural history.

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