The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

by Lucette Lagnado

Janet Kolodner: Like Gail, I enjoyed this book a lot. The writing is not great, and the writer gets bogged down a lot talking about herself. The story, however, is engaging and eye opening, and some of the characters really come alive.
Rating: ****

Gail Reid: There have been a plethora of books recently recounting the Jewish immigrant experience in America but few that focus on the Jewish population in 1940's - 50's Egypt. The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit is the story of Leon and Edith Lagnado and their charmed, upper class life in Cairo told by their daughter "Loulou" the Wall Street Journal writer Lucette Lagnado. The Lagnados must leave Cairo when prejudice against the Jews erupts during Nasser's rule. They settle in Brooklyn but cannot assimilate successfully in America. The children are torn between love for their family and their rich Levantine heritage and the progressive social climate in America. The parents are rooted in their class-based culture and yearn for the Egypt they left behind.

The author spends considerable time paying homage to her father: a complex man,cultured and religious. Although he loves his daughter, he is rigid and rules over the family in the most patriarchal way.

The book is well written and provides insight into the privileged life of an Egyptian Jewish family. Instead of a "rags to riches" story; unfortunately, the opposite has occured for this family.
Rating: ***

Have you read this book, too?  Click here to submit your review.

Join Our Email List
For Email Marketing you can trust


Send Out Cards


Constant Contact