Jewish Writer Reviews His Diary And a Wonderful Book Is Born. Review on my novel La Lente découverte de l'étrangeté
By Nancy Snipper
The Chronicle, West End Edition, Montréal
When Victor Teboul was a young boy, he began writing a diary. The time was 1956 when England, Israel and France began the protracted conflict against Egypt over the Suez Canal. At the age of 11, he witnessed his father being shut away in jail and the subsequent expulsion of his family, along with thousands of other Jewish families.
Still, he kept on writing in his diary. He stopped at the age of 18 when he came to Montreal.
"We ended up in France as refugees in a monastery near Grenoble. Then we moved to Paris, and lived there for six years," said Teboul, noting his family was given one week to get out of Alexandria when war broke out - a place that nurtured his cosmopolitan outlook and ebullient spirit.
"In Alexandria, my family spoke so many languages: Arabic, Greek, French, Italian - whatever suited the moment at hand. I had many Arab friends, a friend from Malta, friends from all over Europe. Alexandria was a mini world ", said the 57-year-old writer who went back to the city many years ago to visit the place that gave birth to his novel.
"Everything had changed. You could only hear Arabic on the streets; life wasn't at all the same."
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