Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Peter Balakian
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Part I: Grandmother

• Peter Balakian's extended family arrived at his home in Tenafly, New Jersey, every Sunday for a big Armenian dinner.

• His aunts fawned over him, even though it made him uncomfortable.

• He was never taught to speak Armenian.

• He fondly recalled afternoons baking traditional Armenian goods with his grandmother, while talking baseball.
• Peter's grandmother told him many stories and tales from Armenia.

• Despite this exposure to Armenian culture, he was never told about the history of his people and family members did not speak about the old country.
• Peter's grandmother frequently had dreams that appeared to anticipate bad events.

• Peter was struck by a cane when a fight broke out on a bus, but his grandmother confronted the attacker.

• Peter's grandmother once mentioned a Turkish Jew she once knew, and after she died, Peter realized he would never be able to ask her what she meant...

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