By Barlow DerMugrdechian, Coordinator of the Fresno State Armenian Studies Program
Writer and broadcast journalist Paul Chaderjian will speak about his newly published book, “Letters to Barbra” at 7:30PM on Tuesday, February 12, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, at Fresno State. The lecture is free and the community is invited. Free parking is available in lots P6 or P5 with a parking code available by calling the Armenian Studies Program office at 278-2669.
The presentation is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2019 Lecture Series and is supported by the Leon S. Peters Foundation.
Letters to Barbra is the story of an outsider, told in disjointed, Facebook-like timeline spanning from the aftermath of the first world war to the Soviet Union, from the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970’s to the futuristic class segregated dystopian society 300 years from now. The narration style is cinematic, influenced by Bret Easton Ellis, Micheline Aharonian Marcom and Atom Egoyan.
It depicts the protagonist, Adam, in his boyhood writing letters to his idol Barbra (Streisand) in war-ridden Beyrouth. Rescued as a war refugee, he becomes the odd, marginalized kid in Central California schools. Friendless and ridiculed for his foreignness, he finds solace in the darkened theaters of cinemas. This addiction leads him to film school in Southern California, after which his early artistic awakening fails to survive the soul-crushing jobs, those ‘necessary’ stepping stones to his dream. As for all of us, reality comes knocking, and Adam seizes the chance to report from his historic homeland, hoping to get to the root of his discontent.
As the reader pieces Adam’s life together, it becomes obvious that some men and women are merely destined to perpetually seek a home and doomed to a journey without destination.
Chaderjian is writer and broadcast journalist and has reported for Al Jazeera, CNN, ABC News and television stations in Fresno, New York, Yerevan, Los Angeles and Honolulu. For the past five years, he was a Senior Producer (in-house reporter and field correspondent) for the Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN), based in Doha, Qatar.
Some of the interviews he has landed for international Armenian media include celebrities Cher, Kim Kardashian, Charles Aznavour; several high-ranking House and Senate members, State Department officials; and a number of US Foreign Service representatives.
Chaderjian has a graduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Fresno State, and an undergraduate degree in Cinema-TV production from the University of Southern California.
Copies of “Letters to Barbra” will be on sale at the lecture.