Nowhere, a Story of Exile

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte is an author, lecturer, human rights activist and a politician.  She is an Armenian refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan. After fleeing Baku in the fall of 1989, Anna and her family spent three years in Armenia as refugees before coming to United States in 1992. 

Anna received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English & Literature and Philosophy & Religion, a minor in Russian Language & Literature from the University of North Dakota. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maine School of Law. As a law student Anna received an Outstanding Law Student of the Year by Who’s Who American Law Students. In 2004 Anna was one of the first Americans to clerk at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands after working toward and observing the ICC’s creation at the United Nations in New York.


In 2012 Anna published her book, titled Nowhere, a Story of Exile, which she wrote at the age of 14 as her family settled in North Dakota as refugees. The book is based on the childhood diaries she kept as her family was fleeing Baku, Azerbaijan and during the years in Armenia. In April, 2013 Anna successfully spearheaded the recognition efforts of Nagorno-Karabakh independence at the State of Maine House of Representatives.   In November, 2015 she was elected to the Westbrook Maine City Council by a landslide.

Anna is a recipient of Mkhitar Gosh Medal, Republic of Armenia’s highest civilian honor awarded by President Serge Sargsyan for exceptional achievements in the political-social spheres, as well as outstanding efforts in the fields of diplomacy, law, and political science. Anna also received a Gratitude Medal from the President of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Bako Sahakyan and Vahan Cardashian award for her contributions within the Armenian Diaspora.


Anna currently works in banking regulatory law and compliance and lives in Maine, USA with her husband John and their son and daughter.