Dream Homes: From Cairo to Katrina, an Exile's Journey

Joyce Zonana, Author Feminist Press $15.95 (223p) ISBN 978-1-55861-573-1
The debut memoir from veteran academic Zonana, currently an associate professor at CUNY, Manhattan, is thick with family angst and restless spirits, documenting Zonana's protracted quest for belonging among numerous locales and people. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Zonana's family emigrated to Brooklyn after the Egyptian-Israeli War of 1948, when she was a small girl. There, she grew up a misfit among the European-dominated New York Jewish community; for much of her life, she was ""overwhelmed by the conviction that I had in fact been exiled... whenever I moved I experienced the same confusion: Had I chosen to leave, or had I been forced?"" An epiphany about her ""one true home"" (the Earth) comes by way of a Native American moon lodge ceremony, but it's built on her love affair with ethnic food (recipes are included), her discovery of resettled family in Brazil, her father's illnesses and her own debilitating fears of independence; eventually, it leads her to New Orleans, academic success and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Zonana's memoir is a somewhat disjointed affair, but captures with honesty and beauty the suffering and uncertainty of migration and assimilation, whether forced or formulated.
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 223 pages - 978-1-55861-574-8
Ebook - 160 pages - 978-1-55861-626-4
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