Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

Lucette Lagnado's moving memoir is subtitled My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World. It is a story of a remarkable father and his family movingly told with the feel of a novel as you share the experiences of this family who traveled half way around the world to settle in America. Lucette Lagnado, who is a senior special writer and investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal, demonstrates both her skill as a writer and an investigator.

The story begins with the marriage of her parents, Leon and Edith, in wartime Cairo. As the family establishes itself after the war, the position of the Jewish community gradually deteriorates until, in the early sixties they flee to Paris en route to their eventual destination. The strength of both parents and the details of the family's difficult journey is a story that this reader found intensely moving. The thought of being "stateless", as they were once they left Egypt, is hard to imagine. That they overcame this and survived is a tribute to their courage. This is a memoir that I will not soon forget.

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado. The Ecco Press, New York. 2007.

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