The Arrogant Years by Lucette Lagnado

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“[Lagnado writes] in crystalline yet melodious prose.”
New York Times

Lucette Lagnado’s acclaimed, award-winning The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit (“[a] crushing, brilliant book” —New York Times Book Review) told the powerfully moving story of her Jewish family’s exile from Egypt. In her extraordinary follow-up memoir, The Arrogant Years, Lagnado revisits her first years in America, and describes a difficult coming-of-age tragically interrupted by a bout with cancer at age 16. At once a poignant mother and daughter story and a magnificent snapshot of the turbulent ’60s and ’70s, The Arrogant Years is a stunning work of memory and resilience that ranges from Cairo to Brooklyn and beyond—the unforgettable true story of a remarkable young woman’s determination to push past the boundaries of her life and make her way in the wider world.


About Lucette Lagnado

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Born in Cairo, Lucette Lagnado and her family were forced to flee Egypt as refugees when she was a small child, eventually coming to New York. She is the author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, for which she received the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in 2008, and is the coauthor of Children of the Flames: Dr. Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz, which has been translated into nearly a dozen foreign languages. Joining the Wall Street Journal in 1996, she has received numerous awards and is currently a senior special writer and investigative reporter. She and her husband, Douglas Feiden, reside in Sag Harbor and New York City.
Published September 6, 2011 by Ecco. 421 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Investigative reporter Lagnado (The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World, 2007, etc.) compares her mother's upbringing in Cairo to her own coming-of-age in Brooklyn.

May 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

The New York Times

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The second memoir is about Edith and “Loulou” (as Lagnado was called), both of them battling their fates and growing up in times of social change, when feminism — first in Egypt, later in America — was new and loud and romantic.

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

Publishers Weekly

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Lagnado's tenacious, long-suffering Cairene mother, Edith, is the focus of this lyrical if long-winded second family memoir, after The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit.

Jun 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

New York Journal of Books

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Her tender reflection upon her mother’s life in Egypt as well as her own growth to maturity in Brooklyn makes The Arrogant Years breathtaking and gripping.” The Arrogant Years is the poignant and touching story of a Jewish family’s strength in the face of myriad obstacles: from prominence in Egyp...

Oct 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

Washington Independent Review of Books

A wooden divider separated the women from the men, and the women, she observes, “dutifully as always,” sat in “their pen surrounded by the wooden fence.” Lagnado continues: “The more I watched the men, the greater my longing to join them, sit next to them, worship at their side.” Ten-year-old Lag...

Oct 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

Portland Book Review Author Lucette Lagnado shares her family’s heartbreaking journey as Jewish refugees from Egypt to their new life in New York in The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth from Cairo to Brooklyn.

May 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

Scott Fitzgerald, who describes a character in “Tender is the Night” as having “lost two of the great arrogant years in the life of a pretty girl — now she felt like making up for them.” Lagnado examines a youthful arrogance that was lost to illness and later regained — but only in part.

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Arrogant Years

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