Margaret DiCanio
Writer and Editor
Science, Social Issues,
and Mystery Stories

My Works

Memory Fragments of the Armenian Genocide: A Mosaic of a Shared Heritage
(iUniverse, 2002) ISBN:0-595-23865-3 $16.95

"Memory Fragments from the Armenian Genocide: A Mosaic of a Shared Heritage is a collection of profiles of North American Armenians whose lives often reflect the specter of the Genocide that killed and sent into exile their forbears. It is a book about the admiration of subsequent generations for parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and other relatives who, through various combinations of physical strength, tenacity, and luck, hung onto life long enough to escape from impersonal murder and find refuge in the New World. The stories of how survivors made their escapes and of how they coped far from home are filtered through the memories of their descendants."

Immigrants' fears that their heritage might be lost proved to be unfounded. Descendents retain the values and respect the culture of those who transferred their lineage to the New World, and, at the same time, they embrace the values of their new homelands.

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Encyclopedia of Marriage, Divorce, and the Family

"Give or take an hour or two, 16 hours--or two-thirds of most adults' lives--are spent away from the work site in a place generally known as home. Because two-thirds of a daily life is such a substantial expenditure of time, most adults have strong feelings about the arrangements for how that time is spent. Arrangements for living daily life fall into two broad categories: living alone, or living with people.

"Emotions about living alone are relatively simple. Those who don't like living alone hate it. Those who don't like living with others love it. Outside observers, depending upon their personal bent, view those who live alone with envy or pity.

"Emotions about living with others are another matter. The whole of society chooses up sides about what are proper and improper arrangements. Central to arrangements for living in the home is the idea of marriage.

"Marriage is the core concept around which other possible arrangements are described: never married; married; formerly married; and remarried. Intricately linked to the notion of marriage is the concept of family, an arrangement within which children are born and raised. The prescence or absence of children is a category used to describe families and marriages."

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Encyclopedia of American Activism:
1960 to the Present

"Some historians and the public refer to the events of the 1960s and 1970s as "the movement," as if there had been only one movement. There were many movements. They borrowed strategy and tactics from one another, and members often left their work in one movement to lend a hand in another."

"The events of the 1960s had their origins in the preceding decades. The fifteen years of the Depression, with its widespread joblessness, followed by World War II and the totalitarian threat of Nazi and Japanese ambition, left that generation with a feeling that combined caution with a sense of great accomplishment."

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Encyclopedia of Violence:
Origins, Attitudes, Consequences

"Although not usually identified as such, violence is the world's most serious health problem. It maims and kills people daily; it interrupts and interferes with their every day lives by robbing them of loved ones, homes, food, medical care, education or jobs, and too often the opportunity to grow up"

"Violence is quick and dramatic, an attention-getter that is over in a few minutes, hours, or days. Recovery from violence, on the other hand, is slow, boring, and painful. It may take years or be impossible. For too many the high of the violent encounter is perceived as heroic and the complaints of victims as whiny."

"Violence is a vital area of study that has not had a champion."

In Progress

Excerpts from: A True Crime

Deadly Hour

Murder ends a court-ordered visit between six-year old Ayla Moylan and her father.


  Gertrude Moylan, the blind grandmother of Ayla Rose Moylan, pleaded with the Connecticut state police officer to investigate her complaints against Diego Vas, the father of her granddaughter. Frustrated and frantic at the indifference of the police to the likelihood that Diego would injure or abduct Ayla, she said, “Some day I’ll be back here in tears when something awful happens to Ayla.”

  At 18:13 hours on 11-02-92, Lee Shippee, a 911 dispatcher with the Connecticut State Police, received a call from Jo-Ann Moylan, Ayla’s mother. She reported a shooting at the Child Protection Agency in Danielson.

  An emergency crew arrived at the agency at 18:16 to find two female victims, one adult and one child. Joyce Lannan, hired to supervise Ayla’s weekly meetings with her father, was airlifted to Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. Ayla Moylan, aged six years and three weeks, was pronounced dead on arrival at Day Kimball Hospital.

Excerpts from: A Novel

Operation Kickbutt


  In the blackness, surrounded by windows, with only a flashlight and her bag for company, gusts of wind penetrated her cashmere coat and fur-lined boots and panic crept past her defenses. She didn’t want to believe it, but she'd known when she'd seen those two babies that, if she turned the bag over to him, she would be as alone as they were.

  Even while she was bolting from her office, she knew he would search for her--was searching for her now. The iced-over windows refused to open so she could drop the bag outside.

  To banish thoughts of lonely women who had almost two centuries earlier watched in this frigid waiting post for their men to come home in ladened ships, she tried to imagine lying on warm sand, a smiling sun turning her skin golden. The warm sand of her fantasy became angry pellets of snow bombarding the glass before her. I wonder, she thought, if the women waiting were as cold as I am--deep down cold--cold in my soul.

  She shook her head to dislodge the idea. Her grandfather had squelched fanciful thinking. Now was a time to devise a plan. The door at the bottom of the stairs was locked. She had never given him a key for it and she had never told him about the other exit--perhaps the only secret she had ever kept from him.
Between blasts of the ferocious wind, she heard a sound. Fear crept like tiny insect feet over her skin. Before I hand over the bag, she thought, we have to settle a few things, but we can't work it out here. He's too angry. It has to be someplace where we're not alone.

  Grasping a familiar latch, she opened a cabinet door, shoved the large bag inside where kerosene lanterns had once been kept, and closed the latch gently. Swiftly, she crossed the narrow oak floor between the bank of windows and a trap door. Her icy fingers fumbled with the long-unused lock. A door in the floor at the opposite end of the cupola lifted and his outline became visible. Her eyes, accommodated to the scarce light, noted a bottle clutched by its neck hanging at his side.

  :"Did you bring champagne to celebrate, darling?" Her voice shook slightly.

  He laughed, let the trap door slam shut, took a long stride, and swung the bottle in an arc that connected with her head. Soundlessly, she crumpled to the floor, where her blood soaked into the ancient boards.
As they guided her into the black night, spirits of women who had once kept the lonely vigil murmured words of comfort.

Selected Works

History and Biography
                             Profiles of Americans and Canadians of Armenian descent and their common link to survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
Sociology, Family Life, Legal Issues
                             Comprehensive collection of discussions, definitions, and explanations of issues related to marriage, divorce, and family.
History and Social Movements
                             Examines the movements, actions, people, and events of the last four decades of the twentieth century that brought turmoil and enormous social change. While many activists thought they had failed in their missions, the impact of their work continues to be felt.
Sociology, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Corrections
                             Includes entries on the broad spectrum of issues. Explores violence in its various guises from the personal to the impersonal. Includes such topics as gangs, organized crime, domestic violence, child abuse, militias, and violence in prisons. The pros and cons of such issues as the death penalty and gun control are discussed.

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