How long is the shadow of genocide? How does it affect the offspring of the survivors? And
how do survivors and their families retain a belief in justice when atrocities go unpunished?
These questions are addressed in Jerry M. Burger’s novel, The Shadows of 1915. The story
takes place in Central California in 1953, where Armenian immigrants and their families live
one generation removed from the 1915 murder of more than a million Armenians at the hands
of the Turkish government. An encounter between the sons of a genocide survivor and some
Turkish college students forces each of the main characters to make difficult decisions that pit
loyalty to family and community against personal and legal standards of right and wrong. It is
a story about a displaced group of people and the consequences of real historic events that
have rarely been examined in fiction. It is also a story about culture, family, recovery from
tragedy, and the nature of justice.