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The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (P.S.)

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The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060822187
ISBN10: 006082218x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In vivid and graceful prose, Lucette Lagnado re-creates the majesty and cosmopolitan glamour of Cairo in the years between World War II and Gamal Abdel Nasser's rise to power. Her father, Leon, was a boulevardier who conducted business on the elegant terrace of Shepheard's Hotel, and later, in the cozy, dark bar of the Nile Hilton, dressed in his signature white sharkskin suit. But with the fall of King Farouk and Nasser's nationalization of Egyptian industry, Leon and his family lose everything.

As streets are renamed, neighborhoods of their fellow Jews disbanded, and the city purged of all foreign influence, the Lagnados, too, must make their escape. With all of their belongings packed into twenty-six suitcases, their jewels and gold coins hidden in sealed tins of marmalade, Leon and his family depart for any land that will take them. The poverty and hardships they encounter in their flight from Cairo to Paris to New York are strikingly juxtaposed against the beauty and comforts of the lives they left behind.

An inversion of the American dream set against the stunning portraits of three world cities, Lucette Lagnado's memoir offers a grand and sweeping story of faith, tradition, tragedy, and triumph.

Review:

"[A] deeply affecting portrait....Like Andre Aciman in his now classic memoir, Out of Egypt (1994), [Lagnado] conjures a vanished world with elegiac ardor and uncommon grace, and like Mr. Aciman she calculates the emotional costs of exile with an unsentimental but forgiving eye." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[C]rushing, brilliant....In this book, [Lagnado] so effortlessly captures the characters in her family, and the Egyptian metropolis around them, that the reader may fail to notice the overwhelming research buttressing this story." Alana Newhouse, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Incorporating themes of generational conflict, religious faith, and family bonds, it will likely appeal to readers interested in the U.S. immigrant experience or the modern history of Jews in the Middle East." Library Journal

Review:

"Lagnado...has a national reputation for covering the struggles of the poor, the elderly and the uninsured within the health care system. Her compassion for the voiceless and the forgotten is little wonder." Oregonian

Review:

"The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit is full of sentiment, information and wisdom, at once deeply affecting and profoundly disturbing." The Washington Times

Review:

"The strength of this memoir is in the writer's prose, at once graceful and powerful....She joins memoirists Andre Aciman (Out of Egypt) and Gini Alhadeff (The Sun at Midday) in writing lyrical, personal books that are important documents of communities that have been extinguished." The Jewish Week

Review:

"Nostalgic but objectively tempered portrait of a family at the heart of social and cultural upheaval." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

This poignant and breathtaking memoir from an award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter recounts the exile of her family from Egypt and her father's heroic and tragic struggle to survive his riches-to-rags trajectory.

Synopsis:

Lucette Lagnado's father, Leon, is a successful Egyptian businessman and boulevardier who, dressed in his signature white sharkskin suit, makes deals and trades at Shepherd's Hotel and at the dark bar of the Nile Hilton. After the fall of King Farouk and the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, Leon loses everything and his family is forced to flee, abandoning a life once marked by beauty and luxury to plunge into hardship and poverty, as they take flight for any country that would have them.

A vivid, heartbreaking, and powerful inversion of the American dream, Lucette Lagnado's unforgettable memoir is a sweeping story of family, faith, tradition, tragedy, and triumph set against the stunning backdrop of Cairo, Paris, and New York.

About the Author

Born in Cairo, Lucette Lagnado is a senior special writer and investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, where she has received numerous prizes for her work, including Columbia University's Mike Berger Award, as well as honors from the National Press Club and the New York Press Club. She is the coauthor of Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz, which has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Lagnado resides with her husband, journalist Douglas Feiden, in Manhattan and Sag Harbor, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

tamaflip, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by tamaflip)
I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, in fact I didn't even really want to read it. What lovely, clear writing of a time I am only vaguely aware of with a childhood memory, and which I knew nothing about.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Alexandrian, April 25, 2009 (view all comments by Alexandrian)
I just read the book. The first part which took place in Egypt is brilliant. It is true that Egypt was a totally different country. It is true that the Jews were a major part of Egypt and that it was a loss to have them leave. I personally would have loved to see Egypt back in those days." Cairo the most cosmopolitan city in the world", who could imagine this now knowing how it is in decline unfortunately. I would like to thank Loulou for her book. Though I have a comment and I need to correct one thing: Egypt at the time of the British colonialism was not like other Arab colonies; We were not banned from going to places like Groppi's as the book said. This is not true. I have asked people who lived at that time. Jews were not colonialists in order to allow them to sit in Groppi's while prohibiting Egyptians. This is due to the fact that there were a lot of Egyptian elite who mingled with the royal family and the British...etc. At the time Loulou was a child, Groppi's was a popular place for Egyptians for sure. My own mother has memories of Groppi's and she is even older than Loulou. I hope I have made my point clear and again it is a shame that some Egyptians were forced to leave their country.
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(3 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
KIER8, March 2, 2009 (view all comments by KIER8)
Most of us in America today have never been forced to flee their homes, work/business/school, and land of birth just because of a new regime in their country. Although Jews have lived in Egypt since ancient times, their situation deteriated rapidly upon the rise of the dictator G.A.Nasser. Lucette Lagnado's moving prose tells the story of her family's riches- to-rags journey in "the Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World".
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060822187
Subtitle:
A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World
Author:
Lagnado, Lucette
Author:
by Lucette Lagnado
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Jewish studies
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Jews
Subject:
Egypt
Subject:
Cairo (Egypt)
Subject:
Matalon Lagnado, Lucette
Subject:
Biography-Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Sociology-Jewish Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20080701
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
7.37x6.09x.88 in. .60 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» Biography » Historical
» Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
» History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
» History and Social Science » World History » Africa
» History and Social Science » World History » General
» Religion » Judaism » General
» Religion » Judaism » History
» Religion » Judaism » Jewish Biographies
» Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060822187 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] deeply affecting portrait....Like Andre Aciman in his now classic memoir, Out of Egypt (1994), [Lagnado] conjures a vanished world with elegiac ardor and uncommon grace, and like Mr. Aciman she calculates the emotional costs of exile with an unsentimental but forgiving eye."
"Review" by , "[C]rushing, brilliant....In this book, [Lagnado] so effortlessly captures the characters in her family, and the Egyptian metropolis around them, that the reader may fail to notice the overwhelming research buttressing this story."
"Review" by , "Incorporating themes of generational conflict, religious faith, and family bonds, it will likely appeal to readers interested in the U.S. immigrant experience or the modern history of Jews in the Middle East."
"Review" by , "Lagnado...has a national reputation for covering the struggles of the poor, the elderly and the uninsured within the health care system. Her compassion for the voiceless and the forgotten is little wonder."
"Review" by , "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit is full of sentiment, information and wisdom, at once deeply affecting and profoundly disturbing."
"Review" by , "The strength of this memoir is in the writer's prose, at once graceful and powerful....She joins memoirists Andre Aciman (Out of Egypt) and Gini Alhadeff (The Sun at Midday) in writing lyrical, personal books that are important documents of communities that have been extinguished."
"Review" by , "Nostalgic but objectively tempered portrait of a family at the heart of social and cultural upheaval."
"Synopsis" by , This poignant and breathtaking memoir from an award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter recounts the exile of her family from Egypt and her father's heroic and tragic struggle to survive his riches-to-rags trajectory.
"Synopsis" by , Lucette Lagnado's father, Leon, is a successful Egyptian businessman and boulevardier who, dressed in his signature white sharkskin suit, makes deals and trades at Shepherd's Hotel and at the dark bar of the Nile Hilton. After the fall of King Farouk and the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, Leon loses everything and his family is forced to flee, abandoning a life once marked by beauty and luxury to plunge into hardship and poverty, as they take flight for any country that would have them.

A vivid, heartbreaking, and powerful inversion of the American dream, Lucette Lagnado's unforgettable memoir is a sweeping story of family, faith, tradition, tragedy, and triumph set against the stunning backdrop of Cairo, Paris, and New York.

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