Lucette Lagnado has won the $100,000 2008 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for her memoir The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World.

From the press release:

The Jewish Book Council is pleased to announce Lucette Lagnado as the recipient of the $100,000 2008 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World [is] a work that The New York Times Book Review called “brilliant.” Lagnado, a senior special writer and investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was selected based on her demonstration of a fresh vision and evidence of future potential to further contribute to the Jewish literary community.

In the memoir, Lagnado chronicles her family’s heartbreaking tale of their exodus from Egypt and eventual resettling in Brooklyn. Through The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit, Lagnado has shed light on the untold stories of the nearly one million Jewish refugees across the Middle East, cast out from homelands they cherished and longed to return to until their deaths.

Looks good. And who hell Sami Rohr? Well, after spending his early years in post WWII Europe, "Sami Rohr moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he was a leading real estate developer for over 30 years. He currently lives in Florida and continues to be very active in various business endeavors internationally. His philanthropic commitment to Jewish education and community-building throughout the world is renowned. This Prize is a gift by his family to honor his love of Jewish writing, and to help encourage the continuation of the magnificent legacy of the People of the Book."

Readers Comments

  1. I would like to get in touch with the author, Lucette Lagnado. I believe we may be related as my father also made the journey from Egypt to America.
    Thank you,
    Lorys Chalme (Stiel)

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