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

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

by Lucette Lagnado
3.8 13


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Arrogant Years 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
PatAK More than 1 year ago
Interesting reading, well written. Very enjoyable if you are interested in different times and cultures.
DouglasFeiden More than 1 year ago
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
catwak More than 1 year ago
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.
Cruiseprof More than 1 year ago
Great sequel to "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit."
Barbaraketubah More than 1 year ago
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.
SuzyQNJ More than 1 year ago
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.
TeechTX More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love memoirs, the most favorite of all to read, and I read probably 100 per year on average. Oh my this book was a joy to read because of the description and writing. Such a beautiful book. It explains history of the Jewish people who had to leave Egypt during Nasser's rule. And the times that the author lived in. You might as well get ready because it is so moving and poignant, you will not be able to put it down. An exceptional work of art.
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