Faculty Book: André Aciman
False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory
(Picador USA, 2001; 182 pp.)
This collection of 14 essays by Aciman—the "prince of nostalgia" (Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review)—dissects in fine-spun prose the experience of exile, as Aciman describes his forced departure from Alexandria as a teenager, his brief life in Europe, and his present location on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "To those who asked, I said I went back to touch and breathe the past again, to walk in shoes I hadn't worn in years," begins this evocative collection by a stylist some have compared to Proust. Aciman, an expert in seventeenth-century French literature, the contemporary Arab world, modern literature, and philosophy, is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Commentary. His book, Out of Egypt: A Memoir (1995), an account of his Jewish-Turkish-Italian family's life in Alexandria, was called a "a classic memoir of modern Jewish life" by The New York Times. Aciman is professor of comparative literature at The Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: SEP 8, 2001