Customer Reviews for

The Arrogant Years: One Girl's Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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  • Posted November 25, 2011

    A Second Look at Lou Lou's Life

    The Arrogant Years is the other side of the autobiographical coin minted in Lagnado's The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit. I recommend reading both, and in the order written. The Arrogant Years is a much more mature and sophisticated reminiscence than its predecessor. It is better written. Where The Man in the Sharkskin Suit focuses on Lucette's father and their relationship, to the detriment of her mother, The Arrogant Years focuses on her mother and their relationship, to the detriment of her father. A reader who wants a more complete picture of Lagnado's life and family, needs to read both and then try to knit them together -- there are gaps and contradictions. That said, the books are moving and informative, each well worth reading for its picture of the less well-known diaspora of the Levantine Jews.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    Nice memoir

    Interesting reading, well written. Very enjoyable if you are interested in different times and cultures.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    Magical & Mesmerizing, Haunting & Heartbreaking --

    Almost inconceivable that Lagnado could surpass "Man in the White Sharkskin Suit," but she does exactly that in this haunting and heartbreaking companion memoir. Every single chapter -- no, make that every single page -- seems to grab the reader by the throat, or at least by the lapels, and cast its spell with some of the language's most magical and mesmerizing prose. You don't have to be Sephardic, you don't have to be Jewish, you don't even have to be a fan of "The Avengers" and Emma Peel in her black leather jumpsuit (although it helps) to love this captivating and hypnotic saga of a family that once upon a time in Egypt dined with Kings, created libraries for Pashas -- and then became pariahs and outcasts and wounded birds and broken refugees washed up on the shores of the New World. And yes, I'm a biased critic -- I'm the husband of the author, a (fairly minor) character in her new book, and one who had the supreme pleasure of hearing every single chapter of "The Arrogant Years" read aloud during its creation in Manhattan, Montreal, Sag Harbor, Cairo, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Geneva and Milan. -- Douglas Feiden, New York City

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    The Power of the Shared Past

    This is not one story but several. Ms. Lagnado has not only revealed a rich (but largely neglected) history of Egyptian Jews; she has provided a personal, sometimes painful examination of the changing roles of women as that society experienced serial exoduses. To her credit, the narrative is almost free of nostalgia, but it's difficult to finish this book without grieving the losses.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Couldn't put it down!

    Great sequel to "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    recommended-a good follow up to Man in a White Sharkskin Suit

    Good to read the Arrogant Years after the Man in the White Sharkskin Suit. I don't think many people realize how horrible Nassar was to the Egyptian Jews, literally forcing them out of the only home they knew and how many had terrible times trying to assimilate into the American culture once they were allowed to emigrate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Recommended

    I found this book to be very informative. It would be of interest to anyone who wants to learn about Jews living in Cairo in the early 20th Century. What I found fascinating is that up until the State of Israel was established, the Jews in Egypt lived with the Moslems and the Copts in harmony. As a matter of fact, the Jews, although practicing their own religion seemed to live more in a Moslem tradition. When this family moved to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, they really felt like fish out of water. Reading about Lucette's growing up, and about her family was interesting and sometimes frustrating.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted May 22, 2012

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    Posted October 1, 2011

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    Posted January 13, 2012

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