Published: February 2019
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.
Elegant, beautifully-written, moving and witty, Out of Egypt bridges cultures and generations and provides a moving portrait of a by-gone world.
'[A] mesmerizing portrait of a now vanished world. Aciman's story of Alexandria is the story of his own family, a Jewish family with Italian and Turkish roots that tied its future to Egypt and made its home there for three generations, only to find itself peremptorily expelled by the Government in the early 1960's. It is the story of a fractious clan of dreamers and con men and the emotional price they would pay for exile, the story of a young boy's coming of age and his memories of the city he loved in his youth.
Writing in lucid, lyrical prose, Mr Aciman does an exquisite job of conjuring up the daily rhythms and rituals of his family's life: their weekly trips to the movies, their daily jaunts to the beach, their internecine squabbles over everything from religion to money to the pronunciation of words. There are some wonderfully vivid scenes here, as strange and marvelous as something in Garcia Marquez, as comical and surprising as something in Chekhov.' - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times