This richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family, from its bold arrival in cosmopolitan Alexandria to its defeated exodus three generations later In elegant and witty prose, Andr Aciman introduces us to the marvelous eccentrics who shaped his life Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, soldier, salesman, and spy the two grandmothers, the Princess and the Saint, who gossip in six languages Aunt Flora, the German refugee who warns that Jews lose everything at least twice in their lives And through it all, we come to know a boy who, even as he longs for a wider world, does not want to be led, forever, out of Egypt....
|Title||:||Out of Egypt: A Memoir|
|Publisher||:||Picador 1 edition January 23, 2007|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
|File Size||:||892 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Out of Egypt: A Memoir Reviews
After reading Call Me By Your Name by Mr. Aciman I knew I had to read other works by this superb author. Out of Egypt was a fascinating read & thoroughly engrossing. The book shines a light on the formative years of Mr. Acimans life while immersing the reader in exciting tales of a now lost way of life. I also thought the last section revealed things that influenced aspects of Call Me By Your Name which I think were not coincidental. Reading the two sequentially (OOE then CMBYN) makes sense even though I happened to read them the other way around. This definitely won't be the last book I read by Mr. Aciman.
Out Of Egypt is made even more lucid by further losses to the country after the Arab Spring. I lack Aciman's irony and wit to counter the grief from having lived sporadically in Egypt's underbelly in Cairo, married and lost an Egyptian husband...Egypt was and possibly still is in some ways, a land where you are instantly transported back to a lifetime that is not known consciously but is at the same time familiar. Aciman has captured the sense of being in exile; only recognized through memories. There really are no words I can write to describe the beauty of this book; I wept when the end came.
Aciman is as good a writer as I had read. He has a fluid, excellent style. This biographical book of his life in Alexandria with an extended family who had emigrated from Turkey, is fascinating. It is incisive about people, politics, and the times. I haven't read his novels, but this is a marvelous book.
This is the most beautiful book of memoirs i have ever read. i grew up in the 40's and 50's Borough Park Brooklyn where Italians and Jews lived in great harmony...we were lower middle class while those in the book are upper class, but i understood them. Uncle Villi is a dear, though Fascist and even an admirer of Hitler. The aunts and grandmother and even great grandmother hold eccentric opinions. They are all forced to leave and really don't want to even when the anti-Semitism has become very uncomfortable. I am in Italy right now where i have a house in Puglia. I live upstate ny and would like to meet the author who teaches in the city.
A wise Englishman (A.J.A. Symons) wrote that "Nothing is more destructive of contentment than nostalgia of the past." Not so in this book. Mr. Aciman re-creates his childhood in the glory days of the cosmopolitan culture of the international community that inhabited Alexandria, Egypt before Gen. Gamal Abdel Nasser led a coup that overthrew and ousted King Farouk and kicked all the Greeks, Armenians, Jews, English, French, Italians and Germans out of the country. With immense charm, cleverness and subtlety Aciman reveals the mature import of what he only observed as a child, by fast-forwarding to his decades-later comprehension as an adult. The book has particular relevance today in view of the broad-scale civil strife and killing going on in Egypt now, prompting one to wonder just what Nasser accomplished in getting rid of the foreigners from his country who had contributed so richly to its culture for centuries.
A fascinating story about a very charming but eccentric Jewish family that seems to have no solid or permanent roots. They hail from turkey, Italy, France and England and speak all these languages simultaneously avoiding learning arabic regarding it the language of the servants and the illiterate populace. Egypt seems to be their new temporary home in which the enjoy an upper class life style but they can't escape the ascent of Nasser and his push to nationalize all businesses , deport all foreigners, especially Jews, from Egypt. The young narrator and his family are ultimately forced to leave what to them has been an interlude of happiness in slander described as a paradise: suffused with sunshine, surrounded by the blue Mediterranean waters and yellow sand. Their relationships and lives will be pulled apart never to be resumed again . One gets the sad feeling that they are being exiled from a paradise never to return again.
Aciman's book reads like a dream. Every word exudes love and with it a sad sense of loss and nostalgia. Unlike any other such biography I have read, it does not have "Poor Us' as a main theme, rather a description of how the actions of the few on both sides, had shattered a beautiful world, which existed, with no regards to the difference between the individuals involved. It is a classic account of loss of a home due to changes taking place around us, which are bigger than us and outside of our control, regardless of what we try to do; just a new tide that can't be stopped.