The Orientalist: In Search of a Man caught between East and West

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Random House, 23.02.2010 - 464 Seiten
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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.

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

Fascinating story of the classic tragic hero who wanted a life bigger and brighter than his own which in truth wavered between the unbelievable/impossible and the realities of Nazi Europe. Are people ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

Who knows what mysteries will be uncovered in the life of this man? A fascinating biography that is a detective-like investigation into a man who was a Jewish writer masquerading as a Muslim. How can ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

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Über den Autor (2010)

Born in 1964, Tom Reiss is an American author and journalist who lives in New York. He is the author of The Orientalist, an acclaimed biography of Lev Nussimbaum (aka Kurban Said) which was shortlisted for the 2006 Samuel Johnson Prize; and The Black Count, a book about the real Count of Monte Christo.

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