In everything I see your hand: stories
In Everything I See Your Hand is a collection of short stories that takes place in the "Little Armenia" neighborhood of East Hollywood, California--an ethnic enclave made up of immigrants from the former Soviet state who came to Los Angeles following the collapse of the USSR in the early '90s. These fictions are rooted in my own personal experience and are about dispossession, domesticity, and the tangled ties between generations, focusing particularly around the tensions that arose from assimilation and disillusionment, from changing attitudes towards sex and homosexuality, violence and masculinity. Many of the stories grapple with the idea of self-exile, or ruminate on the difference between leaving the motherland, and leaving the mother, or other familial bodies, in order to pursue grander desires: a better life in America, superior education in distant universities, love in marriages with foreigners, etc. The body, therefore, becomes a central motif in the collection, principally the hands and forehead, which are traditionally areas in which the destinies are written for the Armenian people. The Armenian-American protagonists of In Everything I See Your Hand struggle with the belief that their lives are already written, their futures already decided, futures that they can only escape through death or departure--if they can escape them at all.