My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search For His Jewish Past In Kurdish Iraq
by Ariel Sabar
Hardcover in Very Good Condition
Previous owner's bookplate is inside.
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner for Autobiography: “A powerful story of the meaning of family and tradition inside a little-known culture” (San Francisco Chronicle).
In a remote corner of the world, forgotten for nearly three thousand years, lived an enclave of Kurdish Jews so isolated that they still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Mostly illiterate, they were self-made mystics, gifted storytellers, and humble peddlers who dwelt in harmony with their Muslim and Christian neighbors in the mountains of northern Iraq. To these descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, Yona Sabar was born.
Yona’s son, Ariel, grew up in Los Angeles, where Yona had become an esteemed professor, dedicating his career to preserving his people’s traditions. Ariel wanted nothing to do with his father’s strange immigrant heritage—until he had a son of his own.
Ariel Sabar brings to life the ancient town of Zakho, discovering his family’s place in the sweeping saga of Middle Eastern history. This powerful book is an improbable story of tolerance and hope set in what today is the very center of the world’s attention.
“Graceful and resonant . . . A personal undertaking for a son who admits he never understood his unassuming, penny-pinching immigrant father.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Sabar’s family history turns out to be more than the chronicle of one man’s efforts to retain something of his homeland in new surroundings. It’s also a moving story about the near-death of an ancient language and the tiny flicker of life that remains in it.” —The Washington Post Book World
“One of the best recent memoirs I’ve read.” —The Huffington Post