Exploring genocide in accessible verse

Dana Walrath – Like Water on Stone

Genocide is incomprehensible. Maus made the European Jewish Holocaust more accessible, using a graphic novel format. Walrath uses verse to tell of the Armenian Genocide, reminiscent of the book of Lamentations describing the desolation of Jerusalem after the Babylonian siege in 586 BCE.

But Walrath’s story is more personalized, based on her own family’s experience, weaving the elements of people, events, and attitudes strand by strand, and with an interwoven thread of mystical empowerment in the form of an eagle character. The eagle evokes other times when oppressed people have relied on symbolic soothing such as the transcendent dancing of Hassidim in Eastern Europe and of Aboriginal North Americans.

We know from the map at the beginning of the book that someone survives and eventually arrives in New York. All of these elements – the story, in verse, the eagle, the map – make the process of understanding the Armenian genocide less starkly overwhelming, and so creating the possibility that readers will be able to finish this tale of real terror and perhaps appreciate the implications of this horrific crime enough to join with others in calling for human rights and justice for these people and all people subjected to murderous regimes.

At the core of Walrath’s story is the question of whether it is ever possible to overcome ethnic hatred. History is sobering, with prominent, recent, and ongoing examples of mass violence and the sluggish responses of potentially powerful protectors that are usually too late. Are we doomed to repeat these experiences? Can books such as this help us to move civilization toward more effective and longstanding proactive efforts? I hope so.

https://www.amazon.com/review/R772J9LR9INDJ/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

Author
Joshua Feder, M.D. Dr. Feder's Blog

You Might Also Enjoy...

ADHD and Life Expectancy with Russell Barkley, PhD

We interviewed ADHD icon Dr. Russ Barkley. I thought we'd hear about his groundbreaking work on behavioral interventions for ADHD. Instead, Dr. Barkley blew open our entire understanding of the impact of ADHD. Listen and let me know what you think!

Cannabis and Kids

Child psychiatrists are grappling with the problem of pervasive use of marijuana in an age where legalization of use for adults has led to even greater use in teens. In this episode, we go over two recent interviews in The Carlat Child Psychiatry Report.

Informed Consent - What Everyone Should Know

Informed consent is so much more than a quick signature on a form - it is an ongoing process that organizes medical care for doctors, patients, and families. This podcast covers the parts of informed consent process and a free download of a concise form.

Legislative Action: Chutes & Ladders

Getting a bill passed is a huge process. We cover a philosophy for 'fixing the world', the ups and downs of the legislative process, and managing meetings with important people. This is followed by a play by play on the bill we ran this cycle in 2019.

TMS for Kids?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS ) is getting a lot of attention and a lot of marketing. But is it safe and effective for children and adolescents? And if so, what's the cost and what should it be used for? Listen to my Carlat Podcast and find out.