Saturday, April 25, 2015

100th Anniversary Of The Armenian Genocide: Award-Winning Author Frances Fuller Puts A Face On The Middle East

Fuller's memoir, 'In Borrowed Houses' details her many years spent in Lebanon as a Christian publisher. It is an utterly unique and engaging book that could have been written by no other person

Frances Fuller's award-winning memoir, 'In Borrowed Houses', gives us a penetrating glimpse of the Middle East from the inside. She puts a face on the Middle East many Americans have not yet seen. In that 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Fuller's story is especially interesting, as she interacted directly with the families of some of the survivors. In a recent post she wrote:

"Armenians around the world are observing this month the 100th anniversary of the great disaster that befell them at the hand of the Ottoman Turks.  For so many years they have appealed to the world to name this purge a 'genocide.'  And all these years Turkey, the successor state of the Ottomans who ruled the Middle East for 400 years, has claimed that 1,500,000 Armenians just happened to die in the fighting.

"Historical evidence keeps mounting---memories passed down, letters, old news clippings, excavations, even photographs, all pointing toward a systematic extermination.  The world knows that on April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities in Constantinople rounded up 250 Armenian intellectuals and leaders.  Their disappearance was followed by mass murders and deportations.  Women, children, the elderly and infirm were marched by soldiers into the desert where many died of hunger and exposure.  The New York Times of December 15, 1915, reported that already a million Armenians had been killed or exiled.  About 23 nations, including Lebanon, have recognized this catastrophe as genocide.

"This is the background story of many in the Armenian community in Lebanon, a people who came as refugees, bringing nothing but their intelligence and talent, their love of art and music, their faith and their memories.  Lebanon received them into the fabric of a diverse country that they have enriched both culturally and economically. The Armenian Christians are one of the 18 faith communities who endured long years of civil war and invasions in Lebanon."

Told in short episodes, Fuller’s book reveals the alienation, confusion and courage of civilians in the Lebanese civil war, introducing to the reader a variety of real people with whom the author interacts: editors, salesmen, neighbors, refugees, soldiers, missionaries, lawyers, shepherds, artists, students. With these people she works, studies, plays games, prays, laughs and cries, all to the accompaniment of gunfire. Together these small stories tell what war is like for civilians caught on a battlefield, and they create the impression of the Lebanese as a fun-loving, witty, patient and resilient people. They also compose, not a political history, but a historical document of a time and a place.

Critics have praised  ‘In Borrowed Houses.’ A judge in the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards called 'In Borrowed Houses' “…a well written book full of compassion…a captivating story…”. Another reviewer described the book as “Wise, honest, sensitive, funny, heart-wrenching…”. Colin Chapman, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut said, “….western Christians and Middle Eastern Christians need to read this story…full of remarkable perceptiveness and genuine hope.”

Frances Fuller is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at Fuller's book is available at Amazon and other book retailers. More information is available at her website at

About Frances Fuller:

Frances Fuller spent thirty years in the violent Middle East and for twenty-four of those years was the director of a Christian publishing program with offices in Lebanon. While leading the development of spiritual books in the Arabic language, she survived long years of civil war and invasions.

Frances holds degrees in Journalism, Creative Writing and Religious Education, and she studied Arabic at Georgetown University. She and her husband, James Wayne Fuller, live now in the foothills of the Sierras in California. They have five children, ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


Frances Fuller