Denise Shekerjian is the author of two works of nonfiction including Uncommon Genius, which is a narrative look at how great ideas are born. (Viking, 1990, Penguin, ’91, ’01). Based on interviews with forty winners of the MacArthur Prize or so-called “genius award,” she pieced together a picture of the creative process in action. Her blog is a continuation of this inquiry into the mechanics of the artistic process, especially as it relates to writers. It is featured on Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop section on writing. It was also cited in her award of an honorary degree, a doctorate of letters from the University of Vermont, 2012.
Her essays and short stories have earned two Pushcart Prize nominations and appear in Creative Nonfiction, Crab Orchard Review, The Massachusetts Review The Chariton Review, Puerto del Sol, The Distillery, Inkwell, The Baltimore Review, Confluence, and The North Dakota Quarterly, and other literary journals. An eleventh essay will appear 2012 in Lalitamba Mandarim.
The Color of Heaven is a first novel, a love story set in Turkey, 1915 – 1918. The last page has turned on the Ottoman sultans, and a trio of upstart ministers is now in charge. The Young Turks, as history would come to call them, press long-simmering agendas of ethnic cleansing, which include the elimination of the Armenian population. What a time for young Gayen Bashian to come of age and fall in love. This is her story of love and loss, and of the courage and connivance required to survive in a world gone mad. Throughout, the luminous Oriental rugs of her father’s shop mirror how a life can come together or apart.
Previous to her writing life, the author pursued a career in law. With a J.D. and an LL.M, she worked first in human rights and then as a trial attorney – federal court, highly profiled cases, criminal defense. Competent Counsel, a nonfiction look at working with lawyers, drew from these years (Dodd, Mead, 1985).
She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Authors Guild, and several bar associations.
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