Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Out of Egypt: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
Out of Egypt: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Out of Egypt: A Memoir

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  596 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
This richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family, from its bold arrival in cosmopolitan Alexandria to its defeated exodus three generations later. In elegant and witty prose, André Aciman introduces us to the marvelous eccentrics who shaped his life--Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, soldier, salesman, and spy; the two grandmothers, the P ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1980)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-5)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan Rice
Unlike features of a landscape like trees and mountains, people have feet. They move to places where the opportunities are best, and they soon invite their friends and relatives to join them. This demographic mixing turns the landscape into a fractal, with minorities inside minorities inside minorities.
--Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature, p. 241

First read in 2008; given a thumbnail review in May, 2013:
Although I read this book in the past, I know the exact date for once, because in
3.5 stars.

One benefit of reading this memoir is what you learn about the climate of Egypt after the Egyptian revolution and the Suez Canal Company debacle, how it must have felt for a Jewish-European family living and doing business in Egypt. I must admit, I liked False Papers better because I love Aciman as an essayist. I probably cheated though, because False Papers is what comes after Aciman's exile from Egypt.

Andre Aciman came of age in Egypt during Nasser's pan-Arabic and anti-imperialist
Ruby Hollyberry
This book is utterly fascinating. This family of Turkish Jews speaks a form of Spanish (except the ones who speak German), tell people they are Italian, identify with France, and live in Alexandria Egypt, before leaving due to war and the same seizure of goods they suffered a generation or two earlier in Turkey. They have had many turns of fortune and fate, and the most successful family members double as spies/con artists as much as businessmen. The author is a much-loved, spoiled child of a ti ...more
يوسف زهدى
Jul 22, 2016 يوسف زهدى rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
A controversial humanitarian read, you can call it a story or a memorial (as the author did) or a partial biography of European Jewish family & community living in Alexandria - Egypt between the early years of the 20th century till the forced deportation of foreigners and Jews by Nasser regime (1900s-1960s).
Andre Aciman - family, extended family and community were rich Jews with European passports, they settled in Alexandria after moving from Turkey late in 1800s-eartly 1900s and established
Aug 29, 2009 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
André Aciman's memoir of growing up Jewish -- and speaking French -- in post-World War II Alexandria. His family had moved to that city from Constantinople in 1905, back when both cities lay within the Ottoman Empire. Aciman found his native city -- along with his family -- to be a treasure chest of strange sights, quirky personalities and bizarre events. He lovingly describes each of his dysfuntional family members, relying on his own memory,the memories of others, and stories and documentation ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Arrogant Years: One Girl's Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn
  • The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah--A Memoir
  • Cairo: My City, Our Revolution
  • Bruce Chatwin
  • Castles In The Air: The Restoration Adventures of Two Young Optimists and a Crumbling Old Mansion
  • A Walker in the City
  • Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived
  • Them: A Memoir of Parents
  • The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible
  • What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol, and Story
  • Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
  • Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus from Egypt
  • Cairo: The City Victorious
  • To the Holy Shrines (Penguin Great Journeys)
  • The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time
  • The Lawless Roads
  • Last Waltz in Vienna
  • On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe
André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Ess ...more
More about André Aciman...

Share This Book