The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado
My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World

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Synopsis

Lucette Lagnado's father, Leon, is a successful Egyptian businessman and boulevardier who, dressed in his signature white sharkskin suit, makes deals and trades at Shepherd's Hotel and at the dark bar of the Nile Hilton. After the fall of King Farouk and the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, Leon loses everything and his family is forced to flee, abandoning a life once marked by beauty and luxury to plunge into hardship and poverty, as they take flight for any country that would have them.

A vivid, heartbreaking, and powerful inversion of the American dream, Lucette Lagnado's unforgettable memoir is a sweeping story of family, faith, tradition, tragedy, and triumph set against the stunning backdrop of Cairo, Paris, and New York.

Winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and hailed by the New York Times Book Review as a "brilliant, crushing book" and the New Yorker as a memoir of ruin "told without melodrama by its youngest survivor," The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit recounts the exile of the author's Jewish Egyptian family from Cairo in 1963 and her father's heroic and tragic struggle to survive his "riches to rags" trajectory.

 

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 October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 356 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

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“The Jews of Aleppo were a breed apart,” writes Wall Street Journal reporter Lagnado of her father’s origins, “intensely Jewish, intensely Arab.” The author documents her almost fairy-tale upbringing in a Syrian family that fled to Egypt at the turn of the 20th century.

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The New York Times

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In this stunning memoir, Ms. Lagnado gives us a deeply affecting portrait of her family and its journey from wartime Cairo to the New World.

Aug 10 2007 | Read Full Review of The Man in the White Sharkski...

The New York Times

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“The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit” in this stunning memoir is the author’s father, Leon Lagnado, a prosperous businessman in Cairo during and after World War II, one of the city’s most elegant boulevardiers, who spent his nights in the restaurants, cafes, dance halls and casinos of what was th...

Aug 10 2007 | Read Full Review of The Man in the White Sharkski...

The New York Times

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Lucette Lagnado chronicles her Jewish family’s flight after the rise of Nasser.

Aug 12 2007 | Read Full Review of The Man in the White Sharkski...

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