|Book Club - "The Arrogant Years"|
February 26, 2014
The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn by Lucette Lagnado, 402 pages
The author of the award-winning "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit"--hailed by the "New York Times" book review as a "crushing, brilliant book"--returns with this, the extraordinary follow-up memoir
In "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit," Lucette Lagnado offered a heartbreaking portrait of her father, Leon, a successful Cairo boulevardier who was forced to take flight with his family during the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, and of her family's struggle to rebuild a new life in a new land.
In this much-anticipated new memoir, Lagnado tells the story of her mother, Edith, coming of age in a magical old Cairo of dusty alleyways and grand villas inhabited by pashas and their wives. Then Lagnado revisits her own early years in America--first, as a schoolgirl in Brooklyn's immigrant enclaves, where she dreams of becoming the fearless Mrs. Emma Peel of "The Avengers," and later, as an "avenging" reporter for some of America's most prestigious newspapers. A stranger growing up in a strange land, when she turns sixteen Lagnado's adolescence is further complicated by cancer. Its devastating consequences would rob her of her "arrogant years"--the years defined by an overwhelming sense of possibility, invincibility, and confidence. Lagnado looks to the women sequestered behind the wooden screen at her childhood synagogue, to the young coeds at Vassar and Columbia in the 1970s, to her own mother and the women of their past in Cairo, and reflects on their stories as she struggles to make sense of her own choices.