Every week, Fareed Zakaria recommends a book on his CNN show. I've been a fan of this week's pick since it was published in 2007: Lucette Lagnado's The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World.
In the early chapters, Lucette recreates a Cairo that no longer exists--and introduces readers to her father--a prosperous man-about-town--the man in the white sharkskin suit. She takes us with her family on its frantic flight--first to Paris--and finally to America where they land in Brooklyn. The poverty and hardships they encounter make a striking contrast to the beauty and comfort of old Cairo. As their lives become an inversion of the American dream, though, "The resilient dignity of Lucette's family transcends the fiercest of obstacles," wrote the Los Angeles Times Book Review.
Set against the stunning portraits of three world cities, this memoir offers a grand and sweeping story of family, tradition, tragedy and triumph in their epic exodus from paradise. It's a beautiful memoir--and a wistful coming-of-age story.
If you'd like to consider The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit for one of your courses, please order an examination copy.