André Aciman (born 2 January 1951) is an Egyptian-born Sephardi Jewish writer. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, he is currently distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where he teaches the history of literary theory and the works of Marcel Proust. He is the author of several novels, including Call Me by Your Name (winner, in the Gay Fiction category, of the 2007 Lambda Literary Award) and a 1995 memoir, Out of Egypt, which won a Whiting Award.
Aciman previously taught creative writing at New York University and French literature at Princeton and Bard College. In 2009 he was Visiting Distinguished Writer at Wesleyan University.Early life and education
Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of Regine and Henri N. Aciman, who owned a knitting factory. His mother was deaf. Aciman was raised in a French-speaking home where family members also spoke Italian, Greek, Ladino, and Arabic. His parents were Sephardic Jews, of Turkish and Italian origin, from families that had settled in Alexandria in 1905. As members of one of the Mutamassirun ("foreign") communities, his family members were unable to become Egyptian citizens. As a child, Aciman mistakenly believed that he was a French citizen. He attended British schools in Egypt.
His family was spared from the 1956–57 exodus and expulsions from Egypt. However, increased tensions with Israel under President Gamal Abdel Nasser put Jews in a precarious position and his family left Egypt nine years later in 1965. After his father purchased Italian citizenship for the family, Aciman moved with his mother and brother as refugees to Rome while his father moved to Paris. They moved to New York City in 1968. He obtained a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Lehman College in 1973, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 1988.Out of Egypt
Aciman's 1995 memoir Out of Egypt was reviewed widely. In The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani described the book as a "remarkable memoir...that leaves the reader with a mesmerizing portrait of a now vanished world." She compared his work with that of Lawrence Durrell and noted, "There are some wonderfully vivid scenes here, as strange and marvelous as something in García Márquez, as comical and surprising as something in Chekhov."Awards
- 1995 Whiting Award
- 2007 Lambda Literary Award
- Out of Egypt (memoir) (1995)
- False papers: essays on exile and memory (2000)
- The Proust Project (2004)
- Call Me by Your Name (novel) (2007)
- Eight White Nights (novel) (2010)
- Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere (2011)
- Harvard Square (novel) (2013)
- Enigma Variations: A Novel (2017)
Essays and short fiction
- "Reflections of an Uncertain Jew". The Threepenny Review. 81. Spring 2000.
- "Monsieur Kalashnikov". The Paris Review. 181. Summer 2007.
- "Abingdon Square". Granta (122: Betrayal). Winter 2013. (Subscription Required)
- ^ Epstein, Joseph.""Funny, But I Do Look Jewish"". Archived from the original on 18 December 2005. Retrieved 2009-09-23. , The Weekly Standard 15 December 2003
- ^ a b c d "André Aciman". City University of New York. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- ^ a b c "André Aciman". City University of New York. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- ^ "20th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Winners and Finalists". Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Winners of Whiting Awards". The New York Times. 30 October 1995. p. C.15. Retrieved 21 September 2009. Andre Aciman, whose first book, Out of Egypt (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995), chronicles his childhood in Alexandria, Egypt.
- ^ "André Aciman". www.gc.cuny.edu.
- ^ a b c Meet the author: Aciman says he's all his characters, Marin Independent Journal, 24 May 2008
- ^ a b c d Kakutani, Michiko (27 December 1994). "Books of the Times: Alexandria, and in Just One Volume". The New York Times. p. 21. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- ^ Rosenberg, Gabe. "Novelist and Visiting Prof. Andre Aciman Shares His Creative Process - Arts". The Wesleyan Argus. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- ^ "Andre Aciman - Google-profile". Google.com. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- ^ "Andre Aciman: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Amazon.com. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- ^ Baker, Zachary M. (2009). "Presidential Lectures: André Aciman". Stanford Presidential Lectures. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
- ^ "Deaths: ACIMAN, HENRI N". The New York Times. 2008-05-15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
- ^ "REGINE ACIMAN: Obituary". The New York Times. 2013-01-12. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
- ^ Aciman, André (10 March 2014). "Are You Listening?" – via www.newyorker.com.
- ^ "Exodus From Egypt," The Washington Post, 15 February 1995, P. D02
- ^ Walters, Colin. "Visit to 'very small, very strange world'" The Washington Times, 19 March 1995, Page B6
- ^ Aciman, Andre (16 June 2004). "Sailing to Byzantium by Way of Ithaca". The New York Sun. p. 1. Proust fans filled the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library on Wednesday for an evening titled 'The Proust Project: A Discussion With Latter-Day Disciples, Admirers, and Shameless Imitators.' The event celebrated the publication of a book called The Proust Project in which Andre Aciman, a professor at CUNY Graduate Center, asked a group of writers to reflect on In Search of Lost Time.
- ^ Meaney, Thomas (Feb–Mar 2007). "Naming Youths". Bookforum. Retrieved 21 September 2009. How strange that Aciman's first novel should run against the Proustian grain.
- ^ Ormsby, Eric (24 January 2007). "Nature Loves to Hide". The New York Sun. p. 13. pays its respects to Proust but is brilliantly original....This is a novel of seduction in which the final prize is to win back something small but precious from the coquettishness of memory.
- ^ D'Erasmo, Stacey (25 January 2007). "Suddenly One Summer". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009. This novel is hot. A coming-of-age story, a coming-out story, a Proustian meditation on time and desire, a love letter, an invocation and something of an epitaph, Call Me by Your Name is also an open question. It is an exceptionally beautiful book.
- Aciman, André (8 June 2009). "The Exodus Obama Forgot to Mention". New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- An Interview with Andre Aciman, bookslut.com
- Andre Aciman on Writing, His Work and Inspirations on YouTube
- "Novelist and Visiting Prof. Andre Aciman Shares His Creative Process". The Wesleyan Argus. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
- Profile of André Aciman at The Whiting Foundation