Available as an e-book on Kindle: 'How Shall We Sing?: A Mediterranean Journey Through a Jewish Family'. www.alinetayar.com
A memoir which covers the Jewish communities of Malta, Florence, Sfax, Tunis, Cairo
'Through my mother's family in Paris, I had only recently got a taste of France's North African Jewish diaspora and felt that it had nothing to do with me. Though I loved the food, growing briefly plump on deep-fried sweets and savouries, and was enchanted by the hospitality, I longed for privacy and a lowering of decibels. I felt foolish that, apart from the words for bellybutton, cucumber and tiger, I was unable to remember a single word of Hebrew, which had been my first language. When I tried to argue the case for the atheism I had been brought up with in the Antipodes, I could not shake off the impression that family members suspected I was ashamed of my origins. '
'How Shall We Sing?: A Mediterranean Journey Through a Jewish Family' is about a different kind of Jewish diaspora, about people whose dominant experience is not of tragedy and loss, but of triumphant survival through displacement.
Fanning out from the tiny island of Malta and the least known Jewish community in the world, Aline P'nina Tayar's family find homes, acceptance and a kind of peace in an assortment of nations and cultures around the Mediterranean. They settle and thrive in Tunisia, France, Italy, Egypt. Even, finally, in Australia.
The author, who describes herself as a Maltese Jewish Australian Englishwoman, brings to this saga of transplantation a wry, gentle humour, a brilliantly observant eye for cultural nuance and an unselfconscious compassion for her extraordinary ancestry.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)