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Out of Egypt: A Memoir

Out of Egypt: A Memoir
Andre Aciman

  • Paperback / softback | Not defined | £11.99

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  • Paperback / softback | Not Available | $18.97


Set in Alexandria, this classic and much-loved memoir chronicles the exploits of Andre Aciman's colourful Sephardic Jewish family from its arrival in Egypt at the turn of the century to its forced departure three generations later. Aciman tells a story of childhood innocence, of intricate family life and the pain of exile from a place one loves. His memories are adorned with eccentric characters: mysterious Uncle Vili - soldier, salesman, Italian Fascist and British spy; the two grandmothers, the Princess and the Saint, who gossip in six different languages; his melancholy Aunt Flora who warns that Jews lose everything 'at least twice in their lives'; and his father, who considers converting to Islam in order to stay in Alexandria. Elegant, beautifully-written, moving and witty, "Out of Egypt" bridges cultures and generations and provides a moving portrait of a by-gone world.

Author Info

Andre Aciman was born in Alexandria and raised in Egypt, Italy and France. He is Professor of Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City and is the author of False Papers as well as the editor and contributor to The Proust Project and Letters of Transit.


"To find Alexandria in these pages, all rosy and clear-eyed from the tonic of Aciman's telling, is the greatest imaginable gift."
James Merrill"

Out of Egypt is beautifully remembered and even more beautifully written. Aciman writes of a dazzling time and place populated by lavish and theatrical characters."
Los Angeles Times Book Review"

A wonderful book...The sense of ceremony and magic in this memoir is as much from literature
Proust, Dante, Homer, the Alexandrian poet Cavafy
as from the narrator's actual world...Out of Egypt gives much pleasure."
Chicago Tribune"

Andre Aciman has written a book of genuine grandeur. An extraordinary union of love and intelligence, Out of Egypt saves a time and a place from oblivion and fixes it forever, with unforgettable vividness. Happy is the writer who has suce a tale to tell, and tells it so beautifully; and happy is the reader."
Leon Wieseltier"

This beautifully written book combines the sensuousness of Lawrence Durrell, the magic of Garcia Marquez, and the realism of intimate observation. A rich portrait of a surprising and now-vanished world."
Eva Hoffman"

The past recaptured in [Aciman's] elegant memoir is full of cucumber lotion and Schubert melodies, Parmesan cheese and the clatter of backgammon chips
all the smells and the sounds of Alexandria that he knew before [leaving]."
The New Republic"

A beautifully crafted memoir. [Out of Egypt] is the rare book you'll want to read again as soon as you reach the end."
The Jewish Week"

This is not only the marvelous saga of a genuinely Levantine family but also the tale of a vanished and multicultural world from the Istanbul of the sultans to the Alexandria of Egypt up to Nasser and of the life of a young man doomed to say goodbye to its charms. A touching and highly amusing, masterfully written book."
Gregor von Rezzori"

Out of Egypt is at once an elegy to a lost culture and a satire of one singularly cosmopolitan Sephardic family...Mr. Aciman paints an unflinching portrait of his picaresque clan."

Lovely...Mixes memory and imagination in seamless and beguiling ways...He may gave gone out of Egypt but, as this evocative and imaginative book makes plain, he has never left it, nor it him."
The Washington Post"

With beguiling simplicity, [Aciman] recalls the life of Alexandria as [his family] knew it, and the seductiveness of that beautiful, polyglot city permeates his book.."
The New Yorker"

Rich and moving...Aciman's pungent prose is filled with telling detail."
The Seattle Times"

Andre Aciman calls this book a memoir, though it is richer than that, a chronicle of three generations of a family leading a cosmopolitan life in an Egypt that no longer exists."
The Boston Sunday Globe"

Sand has obliterated a 60-year Alexandrian garden; or would have if Aciman had not restored it in the grace of language and memory."

A marvelous memento of a place, time, and a people that have all disappeared."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

Rich and captivating...this is not simply another nostalgic account but a well-written and touching depiction of life in a community that has almost ceased to be. Highly recommended."
Library Journal (starred review)"

It is Mr. Aciman's great achievement that he has re-created a world gone forever now, and given us an ironical and affectionate portrait of those who were exiled from it."
The New York Times Book Review"

remarkable...a mesmerising portrait of a now vanished world."
The New York Times Jewish Chronicle, 8 September 2006'

Out of Egypt is [Andre Aciman's] romantic, nostalgic, joyous memoir...the characters have a mythic quality and are fascinating to read about. Aciman brings them all back to clamorous life.'

It's a touching, vivid recollection and properly asks the unanswerable questions about memories that can't be shaken.'

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9781845111496
Publication Date: 29 May 2011
Number of Pages: 339

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