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The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from… (original 2007; edition 2008)
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World by Lucette Lagnado (2007)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006082218X, Paperback)
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.
Winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and hailed by the New York Times Book Review as a "brilliant, crushing book" and the New Yorker as a memoir of ruin "told without melodrama by its youngest survivor," The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit recounts the exile of the author's Jewish Egyptian family from Cairo in 1963 and her father's heroic and tragic struggle to survive his "riches to rags" trajectory.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)
Lagnado re-creates the cosmopolitan glamour of Cairo in the years between World War II and Nasser's rise to power. Her father, Leon, was a boulevardier who conducted business in his signature white sharkskin suit on the elegant terrace of Shepheard's Hotel, and later, in the cozy, dark bar of the Nile Hilton. But with the fall of King Farouk, Leon and his family lose everything. As streets are renamed, neighborhoods of their fellow Jews disbanded, and the city purged of foreign influence, the Lagnados, too, must make their escape. With all of their belongings packed into 26 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.--From publisher description.
(summary from another edition)
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