Refugees Past and Present: Like Water on Stone with Dana Walrath

7:30 p.m.

The Last Bookstore is pleased to welcome Armenian American Dana Walrath as she presents Like Water on Stone, her award-winning verse novel about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Join us to feel the power of the magical realism that allows us to safely enter these terrible historical events while simultaneously opening our hearts to the refugees of today. This event is jointly supported by Facing History and Ourselves.

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It is 1914, and the Ottoman Empire is crumbling into violence.

Beyond Anatolia, in the Armenian Highlands, Shahen Donabedian dreams of going to New York. Sosi, his twin sister, never wants to leave her home, especially now that she is in love. At first, only Papa, who counts Turks and Kurds among his closest friends, stands in Shahen’s way. But when the Ottoman pashas set in motion their plans to eliminate all Armenians, neither twin has a choice.

Loosely based on the story of the author’s grandmother, Like Water on Stone follows three siblings who are protected by the guardian spirit of an eagle as they hide during the day and at night run hundreds of miles from their home in Palu, in today’s Eastern Turkey, to Aleppo. Like Water on Stone is a Notable Book for a Global Society Award winner, a Bank Street Best Book of 2015, a Vermont Book Award finalist, a Middle East Outreach Council 2105 book award winner and more.


A writer, artist and anthropologist, Dana Walrath, has lived and worked all over the world. She believes we are all as connected as the ocean and air we share. After years of using stories and art to teach medical students at University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, she spent 2012-2013 as a Fulbright Scholar in Armenia where she completed Like Water on Stone. Her graphic memoir, Aliceheimer’s about life with her mother, Alice, before and during dementia, has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Philadelphia Inquirer and on NPR. She has shown her artwork and spoken extensively about the role of comics in healing throughout North America and Eurasia including two TEDx talks. Passionate about the power of art for social change, her most recent art installation “View from the High Ground” uses interactive artist books to engage with dehumanization in nine of the genocides of the past five hundred years. Her recent essays and commentary have appeared in Slate, Somatosphere, Foreign Policy and on Vermont Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”



Please note that our store has limited capacity (a mere 300!), so get here early.

Those wishing to get books signed will be asked to purchase a copy of the author’s title from The Last Bookstore. Any outside books must be checked with security upon entering the store. This policy applies to all Last Bookstore events unless otherwise noted. Save your receipt; it will be checked when you enter the signing line.