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Out of Egypt: A Memoir (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. April 1996

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  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Riverhead Trade; Auflage: Lst Riverhead ed (1. April 1996)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1573225347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573225342
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 2,5 x 20,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 541.239 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"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."--Forward "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."--Newsday "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.' - Kate Saunders GEOGRAPHICAL 'It's a touching, vivid recollection and properly asks the unanswerable questions about memories that can't be shaken.' -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


The son of a flamboyant Jewish clan recounts his family's move to turn-of-the-century Alexandria, its many colorful members, its pursuit of wealth and happiness, and its struggles with anti-Semitic and anti-Western nationalism.

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 4. Oktober 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
Very reminescent of Forster and Durrell. Another scorned lover of Alexandria. Another one of her lovers who did not really get to know her. A moving story of a family that escaped war or persecution or misfortune to the city. The city embraced them with open arms, like thousands of others;Greek, Armenian, Jewish, Albanian, French, Italians and even British. Unlike the other thousands or millions who came before them, and who became part of Alexandria, They wanted to love her like one may want to love a prostitute. They did not want to be seen with her. They avoided learning her language. They looked at her people as an inferior race. Only worthy of serving them. They mistook kindness for inferiority. They set themselves apart. And when it was over, they just left. Without lifting a finger to claim that they belonged. They claimed many nationalities, but never wanted to be Egyptians. For them it was not "comme il faut". After all are we or aren't we Alexandrians.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This memoir gathers momentum page by page, and by mid-book I realized that this was no ordinary book, and that as a memoir or even a novel, as sheer literature, it stands well above the crowd. Recommended for those who love the great literature of the past, especially Proust or Joyce. This is a modern book, of course, and yet it has more in common with those early 20th Century writers than with, say, Hemmingway or any of the other sparse writers of the latter part of the century.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 40 Rezensionen
34 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Nostalgia for the Alexandria tram and beaches 14. August 2006
Von AA - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Andre Aciman's Out of Egypt is an amazing book, I found it very hard to put down. At a time of increased hostility in the middle east it is heartwarming to read of a time when Jews lived in peace with their Muslim and Christian neighbors in Alexandria. Not a whiff of anti Jewish sentiments was reported by Aciman until after the Suez War. Aciman and his family left Egypt in the sixties.

Aciman, like many "Egyptian" Jews preferred to hold European nationalities and in some cases some were French or Italian without ever setting foot in these countries. Europeans had their own courts in Egypt and did not fall under Egyptian Laws. For Aciman, born and raised in Egypt and in many ways no different than many affluent Alexandrians life became unbearable after the waves of Nationalization in the early 60's.

Aciman writes of an Alexandria that no longer exists not just for Egyptian Jews. The population explosion in Egypt has transformed Alexandria beyond recognition; hence Aciman's beautiful writing of Alexandria, its beaches and its tram will bring floods of memories for anyone who's known Alexandria.

Affluent Egyptian Jews who left Egypt in the fifties and sixties are not immediately thought of as refugees and there is little discussion on their issues of identity and affiliation in Egypt and elsewhere. Aciman through his acute sensitivity to the people and events around him and his wonderful story telling skills has produced beautifully written and very touching book that subtly challenges many assumptions on all sides.

Readers will see the very same Alexandria in Leila Ahmed's Border Passage and in parts of Ahdaf Souief's In the Eye of the Sun. Enjoy
28 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
speak, memory 1. Oktober 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
A really absorbing memoir, reminiscent in some ways of Nabokov's "Speak, Memory". Neither sentimental nor self indulgent, clear-eyed, humorous, yet moving and truly interesting. Having lived in Egypt myself around the same time (albeit in Cairo, not Alexandria), I was touched by recognition of places and types: a world "gone with the wind". That is of course very personal, but I believe this book should appeal to any one with a little curiosity about other places, people, times.
24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Gorgeously evoked world of vanished places and vanished people. 27. April 2010
Von Jim Palmer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
From the very first sentence, Andre Aciman's "Out of Egypt" sucks the reader into the maelstrom of personalities that made up his family--and, more broadly, the city that gave them rise: the whirlwind of peoples, languages, creeds, and nationalities that made up old Alexandria, once the most cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean.

Aciman's family--Jews from Spain via Italy and, most recently, Turkey, who intermarry with Jews from Syria and Germany--are, in and of themselves, a microcosm of bustling, polyglot Alexandria, and what a magnificently sketched crew they all are: Swaggering Uncle Vili, acid Uncle Isaac, calculating Uncle Nessim, melancholy Aunt Flora, bankers, salesmen, auctioneers, musicians, the idle rich, billiard hall proprietors and bicycle shop owners, and, most memorably, his two grandmothers, the Saint and the Princess, who, as the back blurb informs us, "gossip in seven languages." They comprise as flamboyant and eccentric a family as one can imagine--a joy to read about, with a tale as rich a family saga as any in literature. Theirs is a world scented by the tang of the sea blowing over white-sand beaches; sprawling apartments full of objets d'art tended to by generations of Arab servants; balmy Mediterranean evenings spent on spacious balconies nibbling dips, olives, artichokes, and cheeses and sipping raki, and hobnobbing with the city's European elite, whom they simultaneously despise and try desperately to emulate.

But that world begins to die in the book's second part, which begins with the chapter entitled "Taffi Al-Nur," (Arabic for "Turn off the lights"): not merely what was screamed in the streets during air-raids, but an apt description of what happened to Egypt under Nasser's Nationalist government, which, slowly at first, but then more and more quickly, chased out all the foreigners that gave Alexandria its cosmopolitan character. Once again, Aciman's family serves as a metaphor for the city as, one by one, they either die off or leave their home for points north and west: Italy, France, England, the United States.

It's too trite and cliched to call "Out of Egypt" an evocation of a vanished world. It's a love song, a paean, to the kind of world that both produced, and allowed to flourish, Aciman's family. Their like will not again be seen, because the world that created them is no more. And even if it's gone forever, the fact that it was captured by as skillful a chronicler as Aciman is reason to celebrate.
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Growing up Jewish in Alexandria 12. Juli 2007
Von Judith M. Taylor - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
REVIEW OF "OUT OF EGYPT" for Amazon.com July 12, 2007

Andre Aciman describes his colorful and complicated life (and family)in
Alexandria in the 1960s. Childhoods like that are often the preparation
for a life of writing. The child absorbs all the peculiarities as part of
normal life without knowing they are peculiar until much later. Then they
need to make sense of it all.
All this is heightened by the fact that the Acimans are Jewish, in a
Muslim country still resonating with the after effects of British rule.His
experiences in the theoretically best school in Alexandria, run by
British teachers, would be funny if they weren't so awful. For complete
cognitive dissonance,his parents force him to learn Arabic to survive.
Reading about those lessons alone is worth the price of this book. At
home they speak Ladino, the Sephardic Yiddish, among themselves.
His beautful mother was born deaf. When provoked she can produce a
high-pitched scream. used to good effect at the butcher's. Once she has
made her point they are all quite happy. The butcher has to give the package
to her Arab servant. She never touches an Arab's hand.
The Acimans and Andre's maternal relatives live in a state of mutual
scorn, but when faced with the threats of Pan-Arab nationalism pull together very
efficiently. Eventually they all flee, the sedate Sephardic merchants
and the shady international adventurers too.
Two other writers come to mind when reading this book. Laurence Durrell
evokes something of the same atmosphere in his Alexandria Quartet and Elias
Canetti grew up in a large Sephardic family in Bulgaria. That society has
completely disappeared. Without Canetti's memoirs one would not know it had ever
This is an eloquent and elegiac account of that love and absurdity
known as a family.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wonderful writing, wonderful memoir 30. Januar 2007
Von Constant Weeder - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This memoir is the very best I've read. It takes the author from his earliest years as part of a large Jewish family which moved from Turkey to Alexandria (he was born in 1951), through the air raid sirens during Suez war with France and England, to the expulsion of the Jews by Nasser in the late 1950s, and then on to his adulthood in America and his return to Egypt following his marriage. After a lengthy opening section dating roughly from age 5 or 6, the narrative skillfully skips back and forth in time. The descriptions of the boy's exotic world and his dysfunctional extended family are priceless, as are the re-invented conversations and arguments among the adults who surround him. There is something Proust-like in the writing, a love of detail for the texture it creates, and something Nabokov-like as well, in the hooded humor and artful language. I found it utterly captivating and written with love, especially for his mother, who was born deaf. I heartily recommend it to anyone who contemplates or is writing a memoir.
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