Letters of Transit by Edward W. Said
Reflections on Exile and Memory

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Haunting reflections on exile and memory from five award-winning authors. All of the award-winning writers in Letters of Transit have written powerfully on exile, home, and memory, using the written word as a tool for revisiting their old homes or fashioning new ones. Now, in five newly commissioned original essays, they offer moving distillations of all of their most important thinking on these themes. Andr Aciman traces his migration from his home in Egypt to Italy and the United States and compares his own transience with the unrootedness of many moderns. Eva Hoffman examines the crucial role of language and what happens when your first is lost. Returning to the political themes of his earlier work, Edward Said defends his conflicting political and cultural allegiances. Novelist Bharati Mukherjee explores her own struggle with assimilation. Finally, Charles Simic remembers the comedy of bureaucracy he experienced as a sixteen-year-old "displaced person" in Paris after the war, and his thwarted attempts at "fitting in" in America. Letters of Transit is a wonderful introduction to the works of these extraordinary writers.

About Edward W. Said

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A regular contributor to the New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and The New Republic, Andre Aciman was born in Alexandria: raised in Egypt, Italy, and France; and educated at Harvard. He teaches literature at Bard College and lives in Manhattan.
Published May 1, 1999 by New Press. 135 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Mukherjee, coming from a different perspective, writes about the process of immigration in the US as “the stage, and the battleground, for the most exciting dramas of our time.” Aciman made the right choice in closing with Simic’s poem “Cameo Appearance” and his droll essay on his youthful exile ...

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Publishers Weekly

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The real heart of the collection is Columbia professor Edward Said's memoir, inspired when ""an ugly medical diagnosis suddenly revealed the mortality I should have known about before."" His experience of receiving a colonial education just as the colonial system crumbled, of loving the world ope...

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