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Essays on Elsewhere

Author: André Aciman



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From André Aciman, the New York Times bestselling author of Call Me By Your Name,...

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From André Aciman, the New York Times bestselling author of Call Me By Your Name, comes an eclectic collection of essays on memory and exile inspired by the quiet moments of an introspective traveler

A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

Celebrated as one of the most poignant stylists of his generation, André Aciman has written a luminous series of linked essays about time, place, identity, and art that show him at his very finest. From beautiful and moving pieces about the memory evoked by the scent of lavender; to meditations on cities like Barcelona, Rome, Paris, and New York; to his sheer ability to unearth life secrets from an ordinary street corner, Alibis reminds the reader that Aciman is a master of the personal essay.

"A beautiful new book of essays . . . Aciman's deep fidelity to the world of the senses, and to the translation of those sensations into prose, makes Alibis a delight."—The New York Times Book Review

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“Aciman ... has an ability to make the finest, the tiniest and most convincing distinctions between moods, responses, and registers. Everything is watched as it shifts and glitters and then hesitates and maybe is shadowed over ... This really is fiction at its most supremely interesting; every clause and subclause shimmers with a densely observed and carefully rendered invention that seems oddly and delightfully precise and convincing .” —Colm Tóibín, The New York Review of Books on Call Me by Your Name

“From the acclaimed Egyptian-born author, gorgeous musings on longing and memory fueled by travel... These essays sing with bracing clarity.” —Kirkus Reviews on Alibis

Alibis is a much more personal and revealing book than Aciman's memoir or his first essay collection. Now that the author has dissected his writing methodology and thought process so meticulously, the next book and new direction he'll go toward seems more of a mystery still . . . That's part of the excitement of reading Aciman, whose work is never a mere jest or entertaining distraction but genuine self-inquiry.” —Jake Marmer, Tablet on Alibis

“In Aciman's hands [memory] seems fresh and complex once again . . . On the occasion of Alibis, his project is ostensibly the result of his travels, and he does indeed treat readers to length reflections on Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Tuscany, and New York, among other locales. . . Alibis is a quiet, unassuming triumph.” —John Mcintyre, The Millions on Alibis

“Now and then . . . we are offered a reading experience that reminds us of the gold standard in literature, and one such book is Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere by André Aciman . . . he shares with Proust an ability to plumb the depths of memory and meaning in the observed details of ordinary life.” —Jonathan Kirsch, The Jewish Journal on Alibis

“Many of these essays begin with a city--New York, Barcelona, Rome--before spiraling into images and ideas that connect with other places and times in Aciman's own well-traveled history. Born in Egypt, raised in a French-speaking Jewish family, his complex identity (is he African? French? Jewish?) confronts him with a ‘fundamental distortion' that he can make sense of only by the transformative power of art.” —Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe on Alibis

“Maddening though this habit of searching for displaced selves might be in a traveling companion--the word ‘alibi' literally means ‘elsewhere'--it is a pleasure in an essayist. While the roll call of places visited by Mr. Aciman is unexceptional, his angle on them is anything but, since his weakness for traveling ‘in search of lost time' opens up telescoping possibilities of reverie and speculation.” —Elizabeth Lowry, The Wall Street Journal on Alibis

“André Aciman is, quite simply, one of the finest essayists of the last hundred years--you'd have to go back much farther, perhaps a visit to Montaigne, to find the combination of elegance, restraint, and longing that Aciman so generously bestows upon his reader.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, The Los Angeles Review of Books on Alibis

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