His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, hosted a reception and presentation of Italian Armenian writer Antonia Arslan’s novel Silent Angel, recently translated into English, on Wednesday, September 28. Very. Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, Vicar, and Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral in New York City, also attended.
The Hovnanian Hall of the Prelacy was filled by guests, including Ambassador Mher Margaryan, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations; Major General Fabrizio Parrulli, military adviser of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations; Mrs. Abir Taha Audi, Consul General of Lebanon in New York; Mr. Francesco Genuardi, Consul General of Italy in New York; Ms. Anna Malafronte, Consul General’s Assistant; Mr. Fabio Finotti, Director of the Italian Institute of Culture, and Ms. Malina Mannarino, Director’s Assistant.
In an informal and joyous atmosphere, Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Prelacy, made opening remarks and introduced the speakers. Prof. Siobhan Nash-Marshall, Chair of Christian Philosophy at Manhattanville College (New York) and translator of the book, spoke about the subject of the novel, which she defined as the consciousness of culture as the means of survival. Ms. Ani Khachian and Mr. Armen Morian, Esq. read excerpts from the book. The author, Antonia Arslan, spoke about the circumstances that led her to write the novel and thanked the Prelate for sponsoring this event. Archbishop Anoushavan expressed his appreciation for Ms. Arslan’s lyric prose that had showed literally “a journey through the valley of death,” depicting the selfless character of Armenian women to the world, the woman who knows to give preference to sacred values and protection of culture, even to the risk of endangering her own life. On the occasion, the Prelate announced that the novelist had been granted the Queen Zabel award, the highest commendation of the Prelacy for women, for her distinguished scholarly and literary career and her advocacy of the Armenian spirit worldwide.
Based on a true story that hints at the presence of miraculous grace, Silent Angel is a powerful account of human resilience and heroic faith set against the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide. Signed copies of the book were available to the audience, which made donations towards the Antonia Arslan Armenian-Italia Education Complex of Stepanakert. Silent Angel, as well as Antonia Arslan’s best-selling novel The Skylark Farm are available from the Prelacy bookstore.