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Growing up Jewish


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Genres Non-Fiction
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The cozy, secure and settled world of Lucienne Carasso was shattered by the Suez Canal Crisis in November 1956 when the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser interned her father and uncle. This marked the beginning of the end of the century-long sojourn of her extended Sephardic family in Alexandria, Egypt. Her memoir poignantly depicts her life, first as a coddled and protected girl, then as a teenager, experiencing the manifold changes forced onto her multilingual, cosmopolitan family in the wake of these political events. She shares the magical world of her childhood in the rich, multifaceted city of Alexandria, while giving the reader a sense of the greater historical forces which caused the multiple peregrinations of her family from Spain (following their expulsion in the fourteenth or fifteenth century), first to Italy, then to the Ottoman Empire (Salonika), to Egypt several generations later, with their ultimate emigration to America. She successfully portrays the arc of her life while weaving in the stories of her patrician grandmother and other family members into the tapestry of Egyptian history. Her father Léon’s love for ships and international commerce and her family’s deep connection to Spain lead her to investigate what she can reconstruct of her family’s odyssey around the Mediterranean

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