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The Arrogant Years: One Girl's Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 6, 2011
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“Lagnado is at her best when she plumbs her own psyche to sort out her life’s ups and downs…a rewarding journey.” (Washington Post)
“Lagnado is a gifted storyteller who spins ordinary family experiences into enchanting fairy tales, complete with magical backdrops...nasty villains and dashing heroes…. Vivid and evocative...tender and heartfelt.” (Kirkus)
“Lyrical…[Lagnado’s] memoir is a fully fleshed, moving re-creation of once-vibrant Jewish communities.” (Publishers Weekly )
“You don’t have to be Jewish to take this entrancing literary ride…. The Arrogant Years is a lovely book, sad and hilarious by turn, written with love of life, and an enormous affection for language. You will love it too.” (Malachy McCourt, New York Times bestselling author of A Monk Swimming)
“In the radiant presence of Lucette Lagnado herself--and in The Arrogant Years, her moving and unsparingly revelatory second memoir… we have honesty as purity of style, and lucidity as burning emotion, and history as an enduring hymn to resilience.” (Cynthia Ozick)
“[The Arrogant Years] focuses on [Lagnado’s] mother, Edith, and her coming of age in Cairo, and then her own childhood in Brooklyn. Lagnado, who now works for The Wall Street Journal, traces the parallels between the two in this immigrant story.” (New York Post)
“[A]ffecting…Lagnado writes with great affection and compassion for her mother, and she describes displacement and the urgency of memory. Readers... of Sharkskin will again be moved…. It is also a portrait of awe-inspiring caregiving by a loving daughter.” (Jewish Week)
“With precision and searing honesty, Lucette Lagnado writes in The Arrogant Years about her torn allegiances as both an Egyptian Jew growing up in America in the 1960s and ‘70s and the youngest daughter of unhappily married parents.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)
“Weaves together the life stories of several women in a way that will resonate with readers of any ethnicity…Lagnado’s done a fabulous job, again, of transporting us to a multi-ethnic Cairo that no longer exists. That alone is worth the price of admission.” (Library Journal)
“A frank and searching chronicle of lost and found dreams… Lagnado is spellbinding and profoundly elucidating in this vividly detailed and far-reaching family memoir of epic adversity and hard-won selfhood.” (Booklist (starred review))
“[Lagnado’s] writing is tinged with a sense of loss.” (Jewish Woman magazine )
From the Back Cover
The author of the award-winning The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit—hailed by the New York Times book review as a “crushing, brilliant book”—returns with this, the extraordinary follow-up memoir
In The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, Lucette Lagnado offered a heartbreaking portrait of her father, Leon, a successful Cairo boulevardier who was forced to take flight with his family during the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, and of her family’s struggle to rebuild a new life in a new land.
In this much-anticipated new memoir, Lagnado tells the story of her mother, Edith, coming of age in a magical old Cairo of dusty alleyways and grand villas inhabited by pashas and their wives. Then Lagnado revisits her own early years in America—first, as a schoolgirl in Brooklyn’s immigrant enclaves, where she dreams of becoming the fearless Mrs. Emma Peel of The Avengers, and later, as an “avenging” reporter for some of America’s most prestigious newspapers. A stranger growing up in a strange land, when she turns sixteen Lagnado’s adolescence is further complicated by cancer. Its devastating consequences would rob her of her “arrogant years”—the years defined by an overwhelming sense of possibility, invincibility, and confidence. Lagnado looks to the women sequestered behind the wooden screen at her childhood synagogue, to the young coeds at Vassar and Columbia in the 1970s, to her own mother and the women of their past in Cairo, and reflects on their stories as she struggles to make sense of her own choices.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The author's candor, appreciation of her multicultural heritage (Jewish, as well as Arabic and French), and understanding of how the past and the present are intertwined, all breathe life into this account of a youngster who is bright, curious, and always a bit dissatisfied. She alludes to the once Golden Age in Cairo, where Jews held prominent positions and lived with Muslims and Christians in harmony. In fact, Madame Alice Cattaui Pasha, a beautiful and compassionate woman, was one of the wealthiest, grandest, and most influential people in Cairo. The elegant Madame Cattaui, who was Jewish, was the king's confidante. She socialized with eminent men and women, hosted magnificent gatherings, and took time from her busy schedule to lend assistance to impoverished students.
Everything changed in 1956, when many Egyptian Jews started to flee the country to such far-flung locations as Australia and Brazil. In 1963, Lagnado's family traveled briefly to France and then took up residence in Brooklyn. Although they were members of a close-knit community, they were no longer prosperous.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Never been interested in history but this book stunned me with the knowledge of the treatment of the Jews in Egypt. Could not stop reading about this little known era. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Shannon Reeves
A touching and inspirational memoir to her mother, and a completion of the migration story
told about her father in "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit. Read more
This sequel to Lagnado's "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit" gave us a picture of the immigrant experience. Not always pretty, but a lesson for all. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lillie
Nice reading. A sort of upper class lady telling a world and time she lived, that doesn't exist any more.Published 14 months ago by buyer from Florida
As memorable as The. man in the sharkskin suit. Both books together paint a picture of old Cairo for which we morn even if we have never visited there. Superbly written. Read morePublished 19 months ago by gayle
Great follow up to her first book - The Man with the Skark Skin Suit. The beginning has a review of the history of the relationship between Jews and Muslims. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Marsha S. Auster
Not as interesting as "Man in Sharkskin Suit." She spent too much time dwelling on her mother's decline and death, something we all go through but don't publish in a book.Published 21 months ago by Barbara Shapiro
I love reading about Cairo and it's former Jewish community, especially about the Mass exodus of the late 50's and early 60's. I can certainly identify with Lucette Lagnado. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sylvana