Out Of Place | Granta

  • Published: 01/08/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847082244
  • Granta Books
  • 320 pages

Out Of Place

Edward W. Said

Edward Said experienced both British and American imperialism as the old Arab order crumbled in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This account of his early life reveals how it influenced his books Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism. Edward Said was born in Jerusalem and brought up in Cairo, spending every summer in the Lebanese mountain village of Dhour el Shweir, until he was ‘banished’ to America in 1951. This work is a mixture of emotional archaeology and memory, exploring an essentially irrecoverable past. As ill health sets him thinking about endings, Edward Said returns to his beginnings in this personal memoir of his ferociously demanding ‘Victorian’ father and his adored, inspiring, yet ambivalent mother.

Edward Said is among the truly important intellectuals of our century. His examined life, from the tragic and triumphant perspective of a mortal illness, is superbly worth living. I know I shall not read an autobiography to match this one for many years

Nadine Gordimer

Said is capable of writing like a gifted novelist, like a Palestinian Proust

Independent on Sunday

Out of Place recreates the sights and sounds, the smells and shouts, of a lost world, as Gunter Grass did for Danzig or Joyce for turn-of-the-century Dublin ... One of the greatest cities of our age has produced a work of art, one of the noblest autobiographies of our time

Irish Times

The Author

Edward Said (1935-2003) was one of the world’s most influential literary and cultural critics. Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, he was the author of twenty-two books, including Orientalism, Culture and Imperialism and Beginnings. He was also a music critic, opera scholar, pianist and the most eloquent spokesman for the Palestinian cause in the West.

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From the Same Author

Edward W. Said on Granta.com

Essays & Memoir | Granta 67

Self-Consciousness

Edward W. Said

‘It was through my mother that I grew more aware of my body as incredibly fraught and problematic.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 67

Reflections on Exile

Edward W. Said

‘Exiles feel, therefore, an urgent need to reconstitute their broken lives, usually by choosing to see themselves as part of a triumphant ideology or a restored people.’