Farewell, Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish Baghdad
Naim Kattan was born in the heart of the ancient Jewish community of Baghdad. This memoir tells of the young man's coming of age in the turbulent 1940s, of his discovery of learning, of work, of friendship, and of patriotism and all that love of country means, especially to an Iraqi few. He and his friends, both Jewish and Muslim, attempt to bridge their ethnic divide by passionate discussions in coffee houses and by trying to forge a new Iraqi literature. However, larger political events were to drive them apart and inspire the young Kattan to seek a new life elsewhere.
This is a unique glimpse into an exotic world and a loss of innocence - the idealism of youth versus the pragmatism of experience, the attempt to explore love and sex in a society where the women are veiled and closely guarded. It is a fascinating portrait of a people, a city, a state, and a culture that are still, unfortunately, as troubled and divided today as Kattan found them all those years ago.
What people are saying - Write a review
FAREWELL, BABYLON: Coming of Age in Jewish BaghdadUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Judaism, community, friendship, love, Farhoud, and above all, reading and writing, form the core of Kattan's vibrant telling of his upbringing in Jewish Baghdad during the mid-20th century. The book ... Read full review
Farewell, Babylon: Coming of Age in Jewish BaghdadUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Released asAdieu, Babylon in 1975, Kattan's title includes his memories of growing up in a Jewish area of Baghdad. Anti-Semitism and nationalism were growing and would put an end to the centuries-old ... Read full review