Griselda Ohannessian

Born in New York City in 1927, GRISELDA OHANNESSIAN studied to be a pianist at Barnard College and has been associated with New Directions Publishing since 1956. She was the President and Managing Director when she retired in 2005, and she is still a member of the New Directions Board of Directors.

Once As It Was

Literature by Griselda Ohannessian

Once: As It Was is narrated through the lens of the author’s twelve-year-old self. Her farm-home—today a golf course—was a world as enchanting as Narnia, but without the illusion of fantasy: the perfume of locust trees in bloom, orioles patching nests, fairy dinners in ferny woodlands, the Elephant House, orange monkeys, ringing rocks. There is her dear father Bousie (“rhymes with Howsie”), who once dressed up like a crackling crone to buy apples from his daughter’s makeshift apple stand, her loving Ma, her two sisters and brother, the Owls (the Cherokee Indian farmhands who were also part of the family), and others.…
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