The Orientalist

Author: Tom Reiss
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588364449
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Part history, part cultural biography, and part literary mystery, The Orientalist traces the life of Lev Nussimbaum, a Jew who transformed himself into a Muslim prince and became a best-selling author in Nazi Germany. Born in 1905 to a wealthy family in the oil-boom city of Baku, at the edge of the czarist empire, Lev escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan. He found refuge in Germany, where, writing under the names Essad Bey and Kurban Said, his remarkable books about Islam, desert adventures, and global revolution, became celebrated across fascist Europe. His enduring masterpiece, Ali and Nino–a story of love across ethnic and religious boundaries, published on the eve of the Holocaust–is still in print today. But Lev’s life grew wilder than his wildest stories. He married an international heiress who had no idea of his true identity–until she divorced him in a tabloid scandal. His closest friend in New York, George Sylvester Viereck–also a friend of both Freud’s and Einstein’s–was arrested as the leading Nazi agent in the United States. Lev was invited to be Mussolini’s official biographer–until the Fascists discovered his “true” identity. Under house arrest in the Amalfi cliff town of Positano, Lev wrote his last book–discovered in a half a dozen notebooks never before read by anyone–helped by a mysterious half-German salon hostess, an Algerian weapons-smuggler, and the poet Ezra Pound. Tom Reiss spent five years tracking down secret police records, love letters, diaries, and the deathbed notebooks. Beginning with a yearlong investigation for The New Yorker, he pursued Lev’s story across ten countries and found himself caught up in encounters as dramatic and surreal, and sometimes as heartbreaking, as his subject’s life. Reiss’s quest for the truth buffets him from one weird character to the next: from the last heir of the Ottoman throne to a rock opera-composing baroness in an Austrian castle, to an aging starlet in a Hollywood bungalow full of cats and turtles. As he tracks down the pieces of Lev Nussimbaum’s deliberately obscured life, Reiss discovers a series of shadowy worlds–of European pan-Islamists, nihilist assassins, anti-Nazi book smugglers, Baku oil barons, Jewish Orientalists–that have also been forgotten. The result is a thoroughly unexpected picture of the twentieth century–of the origins of our ideas about race and religious self-definition, and of the roots of modern fanaticism and terrorism. Written with grace and infused with wonder, The Orientalist is an astonishing book.

The Orientalist

Author: Tom Reiss
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1407053825
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The Orientalist unravels the mysterious life of a man born on the border between West and East, a Jewish man with a passion for the Arab world. Tom Reiss first came across the man who called himself 'Kurban Said' when he went to the ex-USSR to research the oil business on the Caspian Sea, and discovered a novel instead. Written on the eve of the Second World War, Ali and Nino is a captivating love story set in the glamorous city of Baku, Azerbaijan's capital. The novel's depiction of a lost cosmopolitan society is enthralling, but equally intriguing is the identity of the man who wrote it. Who was its supposed author? And why was he so forgotten that no one could agree on the simplest facts about him? For five years, Reiss tracked Lev Nussimbaum, alias Kurban Said, from a wealthy Jewish childhood in Baku, to a romantic adolescence in Persia on the run from the Bolsheviks, and an exile in Berlin as bestselling author and self-proclaimed Muslim prince. The result is a thoroughly unexpected picture of the twentieth-century - of the origins of our ideas about race and religious self-definition, and of the roots of modern fanaticism.

The Black Count

Author: Tom Reiss
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0307952959
Format: PDF, Kindle
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WINNER OF THE 2013 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY General Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar—because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slave—who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution—until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat. The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.

Girl from the Golden Horn

Author: Kurban Said
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN: 9780715634004
Format: PDF, Mobi
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From the mysterious author of the international bestseller, Ali and Nino, soon to be the subject of a major biography, comes a novel of thwarted love, exile, and desire, never before published in the UK. The story of Kurban Said and the international bestseller Ali and Nino is one of the most beguiling literary mysteries of recent years. Equally beguiling is the existence of another novel - an insinuating and strikingly beautiful story set against the backdrop of Weimar Berlin. Kurban Said once again takes up the subject of a cross-cultural love story between Muslims and Christians in a spellbinding story that stretches from Istanbul to Weimar Berlin to Jazz Age New York City. The Girl From the Golden Horn is an elegant story of suspense that enthralls from the first page to the last.

Twelve Secrets of the Caucasus

Author: Essad Bey
Publisher: Bridges Pub
ISBN: 9783929345377
Format: PDF, Mobi
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First published in English in 1931, this tale conjures a vast panorama of the Caucasus, its people, and customs. The result is a fresh and densely atmospheric work, even if not always laying claim to scientific accuracy.

Looking Toward Ararat

Author: Ronald Grigor Suny
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253207739
Format: PDF, Mobi
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As a new independent Republic of Armenia is established among the ruins of the Soviet Union, Armenians are rethinking their history—the processes by which they arrived at statehood in a small part of their historic homeland, and the definitions they might give to boundaries of their nation. Both a victim and a beneficiary of rival empires, Armenia experienced a complex evolution as a divided or an erased polity with a widespread diaspora. Ronald Grigor Suny traces the cultural and social transformations and interventions that created a new sense of Armenian nationality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Perceptions of antiquity and uniqueness combined in the popular imagination with the experiences of dispersion, genocide, and regeneration to forge an Armenian nation in Transcaucasia. Suny shows that while the limits of Armenia at times excluded the diaspora, now, at a time of state renewal, the boundaries have been expanded to include Armenians who live beyond the borders of the republic.

Memories of Baku

Author: Nicolas V. Iljine
Publisher: Marquand Books Incorporated
ISBN: 9780988227514
Format: PDF
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"Memories of Baku" is the visual retelling of the rich history of the capital of Azerbaijan and the country's rise to power as one of the largest oil producing nations in the world. This publication showcases the unique socio-economic cultural and political situation of Baku in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, presented alongside aspects of Baku culture in the forms of architecture, music, theater and the visual arts. Embellished with photographs, advertisements and postcard views of the once-opulent city, "Memories of Baku" reaches beyond the classical stereotypes of Azerbaijan as "the land of fire," focusing instead on what are considered the more formative elements of Baku's community. The postcard illustrations included in this collection are derived from the personal collection of editor Nicolas V. Iljine, who has developed a passion for discovering and sharing these impressions of an antiquated city with the public.

Two Lives

Author: Vikram Seth
Publisher: Penguin Books India
ISBN: 9780143104087
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Vikram Seth'S Captivating Book Is The Story Of A Century And Of A Love Affair Across A Racial Divide Shanti Behari Seth Was Born On The Eighth Day Of The Eighth Month In The Eighth Year Of The Twentieth Century; He Died Two Years Before Its Close. He Was Brought Up In India In The Late Years Of The Raj, And Was Sent By His Family In The 1930S To Berlin Though He Could Not Speak A Word Of German To Study Medicine And Dentistry. It Was Here, Before He Migrated To Britain, That Shanti'S Path First Crossed That Of His Future Wife. Henny Gerda Caro Was Also Born In 1908, In Berlin, To A Jewish Family, Cultured, Patriotic And Intensely German. When The Family Decided To Have Shanti As A Lodger, Henny S First Reaction Was, 'Don'T Take The Black Man!' But A Friendship Flowered, And When Henny Fled Hitler'S Germany For England, Just One Month Before The War Broke Out, She Was Met At Victoria Station By The Only Person She Knew In The Country: Shanti. Vikram Seth, Their Great-Nephew From India, Arrived In This Childless Couple'S Life As A Teenage Student. Now He Has Woven Together The Astonishing Story Of Shanti And Henny, And The Result Is An Extraordinary Tapestry Of India, The Third Reich And The Second World War, Auschwitz And The Holocaust, Israel And Palestine, Postwar Germany And 1970S Britain. Two Lives Is Both A History Of A Violent Country Seen Through The Eyes Of Two Survivors As Well As An Intimate Portrait Of Their Friendship, Marriage And Abiding Yet Complex Love. Part Biography, Part Memoir, Part Meditation On Our Times, This Is The True Tale Of Two Remarkable Lives A Masterful Telling From One Of Our Greatest Living Writers. Click Here To See Vikram Seth'S Microsite

Untold Stories

Author: Alan Bennett
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571246893
Format: PDF, ePub
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Alan Bennett's first collection of prose since Writing Home takes in all his major writings over the last ten years. The title piece is a poignant family memoir with an account of the marriage of his parents, the lives and deaths of his aunts and the uncovering of a long-held family secret. Bennett, as always, is both amusing and poignant, whether he's discussing his modest childhood or his work with the likes of Maggie Smith, Thora Hird and John Gielgud. Also included are his much celebrated diaries for the years 1996 to 2004. At times heartrending and at others extremely funny,Untold Stories is a matchless and unforgettable anthology. Since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s Alan Bennett has delighted audiences worldwide with his gentle humour and wry observations about life. His many works include Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, Talking Heads, A Question of Attribution and The Madness of King George. The History Boys opened to great acclaim at the National in 2004, and is winner of the Evening Standard Award, the South Bank Award and the Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play. 'Perhaps the best loved of English writers alive today.' Sunday Telegraph Untold Stories is published jointly with Profile Books.