Set in luxuriant cosmopolitan Alexandria, this richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family from its bold arrival in Egypt at the turn of the century to its defeated exodus three generations later In elegant and witty prose, Andre Aciman introduces us to the Olympian figures who shaped his life Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, by turnsSet in luxuriant cosmopolitan Alexandria, this richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family from its bold arrival in Egypt at the turn of the century to its defeated exodus three generations later In elegant and witty prose, Andre Aciman introduces us to the Olympian figures who shaped his life Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, by turns soldier, salesman, Italian Fascist, and British spy the two grandmothers, the Princess and the Saint, who gossip in six languages the father, a diffident capitalist who considers converting to Islam to maintain his Alexandrian dolce vita Aunt Flora, the German refugee who warns that Jews lose everything at least twice in their lives.
Out of Egypt A Memoir Set in luxuriant cosmopolitan Alexandria this richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family from its bold arrival in Egypt at the turn of the century to its defeated exo
Unlike features of a landscape like trees and mountains, people have feet They move to places where the opportunities are best, and they soon invite their friends and relatives to join them This demographic mixing turns the landscape into a fractal, with minorities inside minorities inside minorities Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature, p 241First read in 2008 given a thumbnail review in May, 2013 Although I read this book in the past, I know the exact date for once, because in 2008 t [...]
3.5 stars One benefit of reading this memoir is what you learn about the climate of Egypt after the Egyptian revolution and the Suez Canal Company debacle, how it must have felt for a Jewish European family living and doing business in Egypt I must admit, I liked False Papers better because I love Aciman as an essayist I probably cheated though, because False Papers is what comes after Aciman s exile from Egypt Andre Aciman came of age in Egypt during Nasser s pan Arabic and anti imperialist rei [...]
This book is utterly fascinating This family of Turkish Jews speaks a form of Spanish except the ones who speak German , tell people they are Italian, identify with France, and live in Alexandria Egypt, before leaving due to war and the same seizure of goods they suffered a generation or two earlier in Turkey They have had many turns of fortune and fate, and the most successful family members double as spies con artists as much as businessmen The author is a much loved, spoiled child of a tight [...]
A controversial humanitarian read, you can call it a story or a memorial as the author did or a partial biography of European Jewish family community living in Alexandria Egypt between the early years of the 20th century till the forced deportation of foreigners and Jews by Nasser regime 1900s 1960s.Andre Aciman family, extended family and community were rich Jews with European passports, they settled in Alexandria after moving from Turkey late in 1800s eartly 1900s and established various busin [...]
Beautifully written Deliciously nostalgic, evocative, heart warming and immediately addictive Especially emotionally pertinent for anyone with a connection to Egypt, to reminisce on how this country was not that long ago a melting pot of tolerance, vibrance and sophistication Cannot recommend it enough.
Andr Aciman s memoir of growing up Jewish and speaking French in post World War II Alexandria His family had moved to that city from Constantinople in 1905, back when both cities lay within the Ottoman Empire Aciman found his native city along with his family to be a treasure chest of strange sights, quirky personalities and bizarre events He lovingly describes each of his dysfuntional family members, relying on his own memory,the memories of others, and stories and documentation describing thos [...]
An appealing memoir of Aciman s Sephardic family life in Alexandria in the 1950s and 60s, from his earliest childhood until the time the family was forced to leave Egypt when he was 15.His grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and wider circles of family and friends are sketched with perceptive wit and affection as the violent events of the Egyptian revolution and its aftermath swirl around them Loved it.
Uno spartiacqueSpesso la vita ha uno spartiacque e gli avvenimenti si collocano prima o dopo Quello di Andr Aciman l addio ad Alessandria d Egitto, dove le famiglie dei suoi genitori vivevano da 3 generazioni E un addio annunciato da anni, col peggiorare dei rapporti diplomatici con Francia, Gran Bretagna e Israele durante la crisi di Suez il governo egiziano spremeva bene bene le famiglie di origine straniera che avevano vissuto, lavorato, creato lavoro e arricchito la societ egiziana con le lo [...]
It s a beautifully written, intimate memoir about growing up in a Jewish family of Sephardic heritage in Alexandria, Egypt We learn about the family s experiences from World War II, before Andre Aciman was born, until 1965, when Andre was 15 and the family was forced to leave Egypt Andre s extended family were nominally Italian citizens but had been living in Constantinople In 1908, Andre s great uncle encouraged the entire family to go to Egypt to seek economic opportunities, since the great un [...]
All those who discuss the departure from Egypt in detail are considered praiseworthy Passover Haggadah Say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing Cavafy, The God Abandons Antony The phrase Out of Egypt is richly evocative To a contemporary reader, it brings to mind Isak Dinesen Karen Blixen s Out of Africa , a lyrical meditation on life as a member of a privileged colonial class To anyone with a passing familiarity with the Hebrew Bible, it has a the significance of representing an esc [...]
A beautifully written memoir, particularly relevant and poignant given recent events in the Middle East.Lawrence Durrell wrote in his Alexandria Quartet that Alexandria was shared by five races, five languages, a dozen creeds five fleets turning through their greasy reflections behind the harbor bar But there are than five sexes But as Paul Theroux wrote in his travelogue of the Mediterranean The Pillars of Hercules , Alexandria is now a monoglot city of one race, Arabic speaking Arabs and one [...]
I really enjoyed this memoir by Andre Aciman, whose Sephardic Jewish family lived in Egypt for 50 years, yet never considered themselves Egyptian and were never able to become Egyptian citizens They were originally from Spain, were part of the Medieval diaspora, migrated to Constantinople, then migrated to Alexandria in 1905 where they owned businesses and lived every day life using a mixture of French, Ladino, Italian, Turkish and Greek aside from Aciman himself, they never learned Arabic The c [...]
This memoir introduced me to a place, time and culture I found fascinating an extended family of wealthy Sephardic Jews in Alexandria, Egypt Aciman was a teenager when he left Alexandria, which was the fate of all or most of the Jews doing private business in Egypt in the 60s They had come from elsewhere post World War 2 to British ruled Egypt Constantinople sic , Smyrna sic , Italy, France, Greece, Syria Aciman s great grandmother and great grandfather had 9 children, and they were all characte [...]
I m not sure why these Mediterranean Jews in Out of Egypt seem so familiar Surely, the narrator and his family could not be different than me or my family Or maybe there is something that ties us together, something beyond, but not completely beyond, the Syrian shul that my grandmother attended in Brooklyn And how could our secure life in America be compared to their perilous situation in Egypt My feelings about New York are mirrored in the young Andre s ties to his Alexandria While I can hop o [...]
Because Aciman s extended family, and not himself, seemed his primary focus it is unfortunate that who was who was so unclear It think his intention was to present the Jewish experience in and expulsion from Alexandria in the 1900s However, his family was his focus, and I was unable to get comfortable with the characters and therefore unable to enjoy the stories His mother was quite clear to me, but the nicknamed grandmothers and various others were muddled and became a roadblock for me There we [...]
As a memoir, it s superb Aciman expertly entwines the multiplicity of cultures, languages, and customes with which he grew up He does play a bit fast and loose with time frames and ages, so the large cast of family can become confusing All in all, it was worth the read, but it won t go on my to be re read shelf.
This is a beautifully written memoir, a soulful read I wish i could go to school where this guy is teaching a class on How to write your Memoir The class includes, of course, that all important section on how memoirs differ greatly from autobiographies
Before their exodus from Alexandria in 1956, three generations of a close knit Jewish family had lived a prosperous life.
actual rating 3,5
Beautifully written a real gem of a memoir Aciman paints a beautiful picture of an Alexandria long gone.
Che quanti si godevano la prima passeggiata non avrebbero mai saputo, mai nemmeno immaginato, chee quella era la nostra ultima notte ad Alessandria.Il mio approccio con Aciman comincia con questo romanzo che, per quanto sia affascinante, molto disordinato e poco lineare Ultima notte ad Alessandria un memoir, una sorta di diario anche se non ha la struttura di questo genere E un memoir in cui lo stesso Aciman racconta la storia della sua famiglia costretta a lasciare Alessandria D Egitto dopo ben [...]
I loved Call me by your name and wanted to try this It s a memoir of his growing up in Alexandria and I was also interested because I read Friedman s book about the Middle East blocking on title but he talked about one of the tragedies of the founding of Israel is that many Jewish communities in the Middle East, some of which had been there for 1,000 years, were forced to leave He s a wonderful writer and stories about his family almost seemed like Marquez My one complaint is that I would have l [...]
I got to page 29 and thought okay, enough exposition, is this book gonna start And there was exposition I skimmed to page 53, with a couple of minor exceptions, like it felt like there might be a plot coming on, some muscle to this book Alas no, it continued in its descriptive fashion I m surprised at the number of five stars it got on here In fact, the blurbs on the back of the book are from highly reputable places Is this one of those Gotta encourage this guy , for some reason Aside from some [...]
This was a beautiful memoir, filled with World War II intrigue, the magic of the movies, and of Mr Aciman s life in Alexandria, Egypt The memoir contains beautiful, structured sentences that preview of what s to come out of Mr Aciman s talent Call Me By Your Name and Enigma Variations This memoir was a joyful read, and reminiscent of though he was not poor of Angela s Ashes Reading Lolita in Tehran, and other coming of age memoirs that could be read by high schoolers.
Aciman s memoir is both a richly textured visual transport, capturing that particular quality of sunlight, the sounds and smells of Alexandria, and the tragic saga of one family s never ending diaspora I was captivated by Aciman s delicate balance of nostalgic yearning for a beautiful time and place, and also his honesty about the cruelty inherent in that paradise.
This is my second time reading with this memoir, having read it when it was first published It was worth another turn Aciman is a such a supple writer I loved every sentence and every crazy character in Aciman s life But this book needs a family tree or cast of characters badly to help the reader connect the relationship dots among the many relatives, friends, neighbors, and servants.
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.
I knew nothing about this period in history Egypt in the 50s and early 60s The life of this unusual Jewish family in that time and place was eye opening While I found it difficult to keep some of the family members straight, I found the story compelling and I learned a lot.
I have never been to Alexandria, Egypt, but reading Durrell s Justine made me feel like I suddenly knew it or at least knew Alexandria as it was in the past , and when I reached the last page of the novel, I immediately longed to revisit the fabled city again By chance, Out of Egypt, which entirely takes place in Alexandria, was waiting for me on my shelves I didn t think twice, and that very night I opened the book, which I had purchased years ago I knew Andr Aciman to be an elegant and elegiac [...]
First of all, I confess to a tendency to read anything I can about pre modern Alexandria I would probably read the tax rolls if I could get them My shelf is about out of space now, but this little book has grown on me after I read it and put it away My problem now is that I could say that it filled my glass half full, or on the other hand left it half empty I would like like this I would like to understand what happened on a personal level within the collapse of that Hellenized city on the Afri [...]