In this humorous, learned, and moving memoir, Vartan Gregorian recounts his journey from an impoverished childhood as a Christian Armenian in Muslim Tabriz to cultured citizen of the world.
Gregorian's odyssey begins in an obscure poor quarter of a provincial city (thought by some to be the location of the Garden of Eden). Childhood centered on his brilliant, beloved, illiterate grandmother who taught him so much, the beauty of Church, school, American movies, and the larger world he read about in his borrowed books. From there, he continued on to a Beirut lycée, Stanford University, and the presidencies of the New York Public Library, Brown University, and Carnegie Corporation.
Like Jimmy Carter in An Hour Before Daylight, and in the tradition of Nabokov, Jill Ker Conway, and V. S. Naipaul, he tells us that education is an openness to everything, and describes his public and private life as one education after another. This is a love story about life.